An assessment carried out in seafood processing plants in two provinces in Vietnam, showed that workers at those seafood processing plants work on average three hours overtime per day, do not receive sufficient payments for social insurance, lack contracts, experience harmful working conditions, and lack necessary facilities. It is also not clear whether employees at processing plants are earning a living wage.
Workers express their discontent by going on strike and moving from one company to the other. Disruptions to size of workforce caused by transient movements of workers mean that operations can be difficult to manage. Especially when it is harvesting season, there is a need for reliable and loyal workers.
When employees are happier, they generally are also more productive, and it is easier to manage operations based on size of workforce in seafood production. Social dialogue and collective bargaining agreements can bring benefits to all social partners involved: higher productivity, better working conditions and more economic stability.
Multi Company Collective Bargaining Agreements
IDH supports the creation of Multi Company Collective Bargaining Agreements (MCCBA). These agreements are applicable for all processing companies in a given area; to agree on a salary, benefits, welfare and working conditions. This will help companies to stabilize their workforce, invest in the capacities of their workers and better production planning.
IDH partners with CNV international and key stakeholders in Kien Giang and Ca Mau province to create MCCBAs in the seafood industry, copying the approach from the apparel sector. Please find more about MCCBAs in the apparel industry here.
The project in seafood processing aims to first assess the relationship between employees and employers and incentivize social dialogue to achieve a common agreement between the companies and the employers. By December 2022 we aim to have two MCCBAs signed in Ca Mau province and in Kien Giang province.
How can you engage?
Are you a buyer sourcing shrimp from Kien Giang or Ca Mau? Get in touch with us to discuss how you can engage. For example, by incentivizing your suppliers to engage on Multiple Company Collective Bargaining Agreements, by exploring the possibility of cooperating with other suppliers in the same region, or by funding part of the project costs (for example social dialogue trainings in factories) together with IDH and CNV international.
Are you interested in working with IDH on living wage in seafood? Reach out to
Thong Nhuyen Ba
Program Manager Aquaculture Vietnam