Labor confederation seeks longer National Day holidays

By Hong Chieu   December 3, 2023 | 11:23 pm PT
Labor confederation seeks longer National Day holidays
National flags are hung along houses in an alley in Hanoi on the National Day in 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
The labor confederation wants workers to be given a four-day National Day holiday next year to fulfill their elusive dream of taking their children to school on opening day.

The proposal made at a meeting Sunday by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor after collecting opinions from workers across the country will be considered by the government.

Since 2021 workers have been getting the previous day also off to celebrate National Day on Sept. 2.

Vietnam has 11 public holidays a year, still the lowest number in Southeast Asia. Foreigners get extra days off for their New Year and National Day.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Ngo Duy Hieu, deputy head of the confederation, said if the proposal is approved the National Day holidays would last until September 5, the school opening day next year.

"For many, especially factory workers, taking their children to school on opening day remains a pipe dream."

Hieu said when he once met workers at an industrial park a woman sobbed while telling him she had never been able to take her kid to school on the opening day like other parents since she was always busy with factory work.

"It is easier for office workers to ask for a day off or changing their working schedules with others. For factory workers, especially those working for foreign companies, it is very difficult to swap shifts with others because it means the whole production line would be affected.

"Other countries such as China, which allows workers to take almost a week off for National Day, are examples that Vietnam can learn from."

He said the confederation would call for more public holidays when the Labor Code is next amended.

An online survey of 22,596 people by VnExpress on Sunday and Monday found 76% agreeing with the option of having an extra day off for National Day.

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