Vietnamese Labor-Management Relations: Restructuring and Coping with the Global Economic Crisis

This article explains how the key stakeholders interact in labor-management-state relations in Vietnam within the context of the global economic crisis. After national reunification at the end of the Vietnam War (1954-1975), Vietnam developed a centralized command economy (1975-1986); the socialist government controlled all aspects of the Vietnamese economy including the prohibition of market interactions (although these interactions always existed underground). However, economic shambles and grassroots protests – inspired by Gorbachev's glasnost (openness, in which Vietnamese people were allowed to talk openly and honestly between 1986-89 about the problems they knew) and perestroika (political reform, the willingness of some top Vietnamese leaders to apply Gorbachev's reforms in Vietnam but that did not materialize) – led to the Sixth Party Congress (1986-1991).