© 2019

Workplace Justice

Rights and Labour Resistance in Vietnam

  • Provides insights into social (in)justice in Vietnam as it unfolds in workplace settings

  • Demonstrates how law interacts with social norms in shaping Vietnamese workers’ voices and actions

  • Contributes to literature on law, resistance and social change through detailed case study analysis of workers’ strikes, letters and legal mobilisation


Part of the Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific book series (CSAP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Tu Phuong Nguyen
    Pages 1-22
  3. Tu Phuong Nguyen
    Pages 49-80
  4. Tu Phuong Nguyen
    Pages 81-117
  5. Tu Phuong Nguyen
    Pages 153-181
  6. Tu Phuong Nguyen
    Pages 183-194
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 195-201

About this book


“In this book, workers get to speak for themselves. Drawing on their words, this study shows that underpinning numerous strikes and other resistance in the factories of Vietnam today is a blend of workers’ grievances, their understanding of labor law, and their ideas about justice.“
— Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet, Emeritus Professor, Australian National University,
Author of Speaking Out in Vietnam: Public Political Criticism in a Communist
Party-Ruled Nation

“In Workplace Justice, Tu Phuong Nguyen shows how law matters to daily struggles and survival in socialist Vietnam. Her empirically grounded research captures the interactions between labour law and factory workers’ sense of morality and ideas about justice, and details how the interactions shape the way workers portray and seek redress for their grievances. This book will appeal to scholars and practitioners interested in Vietnam, workers’ rights or legal mobilization.“
— Lynette J. Chua, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore, Author of The Politics of Love in Myanmar: LGBT Mobilization and Human Rights as a Way of Life and Mobilizing Gay Singapore: Rights & Resistance in an Authoritarian State

This book develops an understanding of workplace justice and labour rights in Vietnam from factory workers’ voices and their resistance against abuse and exploitation. Through interviews with workers and a close analysis of their letters and petitions to the unions and state authorities, Nguyen illuminates how workers’ resistance is enabled and stifl ed by the legal and political systems that are supposed to protect their rights and benefi ts. Their calls for justice refl ect socialist ideology and widely held norms within society, as well as ideals and values embedded in labour law. The book demonstrates how state law brings about social change through shaping workers’ expectations and increasing consciousness of rights and justice.

This book will be of interest to scholars of law, politics and society, and scholars, students and practitioners interested in labour rights in developing countries.

Tu Phuong Nguyen is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffi th University.


Workplace in(justice) in Vietnam Labour Law in Vietnam Labour Resistance in Vietnam The State and Labour Relations in Vietnam Law & Labour Resistance in post-socialist regimes

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Governance and Public PolicyGriffith UniversityNathanAustralia

About the authors

Tu Phuong Nguyen is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University.

Bibliographic information