25.04.2017

The race to the bottom in Vietnam

International brands and competition on foreign direct investment are pushing labour standards to the bottom, a new study by FES Vietnam shows

Photo: The cost of sports shoes where SG&A stands for selling, general and administrative expenses, by FES / Kawin Tadtiam

In Vietnam, suppliers are sandwiched between the price pressure from the big multinational brands, mainly from the United States and Europe, and the need for compliance with national labour laws.

This struggle is fought on the backs of the workers who suffer from a deterioration of their wages and safety standards.

Since most suppliers in Vietnam depend on one specific brand as single buyer, their situation is even worsened by the fact that employers and employees are rendered into a situation of “take it or leave it”, thus as well aggravating bargaining power of employees.

What solutions, then, exist to buck this vicious circle of dropping production costs and questionable safety practices due to competition on production prices?

To make recommendation in response to this question, Dr. Do Quynh Chi with support of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Vietnam, undertook an empirical study to delve into the role of brands, suppliers and national policies and their effects on the workers’ situation in the garment, footwear and electronics industry.

As fruit of that undertaking, we introduce The missing link in the chain? Trade Regimes and Labour Standards in the Garments, Footwear and Electronics Supply Chains in Vietnam.

Read and download for free the whole study here.

Popular posts

  • 30.10.2017

    German politics and Latin America: What's there in the Bundestag election for the sub-continent?

    Former FES Mexico staff, doctoral student and lecturer Zirahuén Villamar analyses the Impact of the German elections for Latin America and Germany’s...

    more

  • 29.10.2017

    Feminism from memory: Community feminism in Bolivia

    A workshop in La Paz on community feminism, movement for political action that questions the definitions and chronology posed by feminist currents...

    more

  • 16.10.2017

    Is geography destiny? Mexico faces the renegotiation of NAFTA

    What is at stake in the renegotiation of NAFTA? So far, the results of the treaty differ as much from free trade's most catastrophic visions as they...

    more

back to top