Joe at desk in our office; List

Joe at desk

Joe asked his class what workers want from their local unions. This is a compilation of the list the students put up on the board after group discussions. One list was written in English, the others translated by Vinh.

Much to note on this list. First, how similar it is to a list a labor ed class for workers in the US would produce. (Except for maybe the one about organizing sports.) Second, that no one seemed to have any trouble picturing the responsibilities of a local union.

I will do the same exercise in my class later in the semester and then do a second level, asking them what workers would expect of a leader in a local union: If this is what a local union is supposed to do, what do the leaders have to do? (“leaders” – plural).

  • Protect their profit right
  • Relax, travel
  • Support about labor law
  • Traffic in work
  • Promotion
  • To be listening, understanding
  • Education
  • Take care of the family
  • Remove problems between boss and labor
  • Take care the health
  • Work conditions/work environment
  • Practice legal rights and benefits
  • Social benefits – insurance, medical
  • Organize sport activity
  • Medical checkups
  • Non-polluted work conditions
  • Salaries and benefits
  • Pay on time according to law
  • Respectful
  • Democratic working conditions
  • Labor protection for workers
  • Workers representation to sign and bargain the contract
  • Run safely
  • Safety in food not contamination
  • Equality between genders
  • Balance work and life
  • CSR = corporate responsibility
  • Social cooperation
  • Union to be representative to solve disputes and negotiate, bargain, mediate
  • Support after job loss
  • Law consultant, advocate
  • Interrsted in the life, thinking and feelings of worker
  • Labor law union law consultant

Published by helenaworthen

Labor educator, retired from University of Illinois, taught at TDT University in Ho Chi Minh City in the Faculty of Trade Unions and Labor Relations. Co-author with Joe Berry of Power Despite Precarity: Strategies for the contingent faculty movement in higher education, forthcoming (August 2021) from Pluto Press.

One thought on “Joe at desk in our office; List

  1. Hi Helena,
    Your blog is very interesting and informative.
    Regarding “The Sorrow of War” by Bao Ninh that you mentioned reading, my local library has a copy, which I am going to get. I looked at reviews online and this quote is from a NY Times review in 1995:

    Most Americans think of the Vietnam War as a political and moral failure that left a young generation scarred, shellshocked and stripped of its illusions. From Bao Ninh’s novel, it is clear that the North Vietnamese experience was largely the same.

    I can tell from the blog how busy you and Joe are and admire you for all you are doing.
    Elizabeth Hoffman

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