Murphy Institute for Worker Education
and Labor Studies - CUNY


Vietnam in Transition

Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Time: 8:30AM to 10:15AM

Place: 25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor
between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan


For a generation of Americans, Vietnam has been associated with one of the most difficult periods in modern U.S. history. And Vietnam itself continues to grapple with the long-term effects of a brutal war and persistent poverty. Yet, for the past decade, Vietnam has had one of the fastest growing economies — rivaling that of China and making it a major player in the global economy. Attracting an ever increasing number of multinational corporations, Vietnam has one of the highest rates of foreign investment in the world. Vietnam’s economic turnaround since embracing the market economy has made it a poster child of neoliberalism.

Yet, all is not well in Vietnam — as the increasing number of wildcat strikes attest.  Low wages, growing inequality, and a severely eroded safety are posing serious challenges to the country’s poor and working class — and the country’s labor movement.

What are the implications of this transition for Vietnamese and U.S. workers and trade unions? Why are workers in Vietnam going out on strike? What is the Vietnamese labor federation doing to defend its workers — and global labor standards — against global capital? How should these developments reshape the decades-old Cold War relationships between U.S. and Vietnamese unions? How might unionists and labor educators productively work together?


Kent Wong, author  of Organizing on Separate Shores: Vietnamese and Vietnamese American Union Organizers, Director, UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, and founding president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)

Ramon A. Rodriguez, former Vietnam veteran and NY Education and Development Coordinator for 1199SEIU, UHE

Greg Mantsios, director of the Murphy Institute


May Chen, former International Vice-President, Workers United/SEIU, and National Executive Board member, APALA. All of our panelists have been part of recent labor delegations to Vietnam

This breakfast forum is jointly sponsored with the Asian American/Asian Research Institute (AAARI) of CUNY and APALA.





Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2018

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182 / 0187   
Fax: 212-869-0181 | E-mail: