18-20 August 2022

Voice and Representation of Platform Workers: The Case of Ride-hailing Drivers in Vietnam

Do Quynh Chi

Abstract:The ride-hailing and delivery platforms emerged in Vietnam only in 2014 but have quickly attracted nearly one million drivers. While the government has remained silent on the employment status of the platform drivers, the ride-hailing and delivery workers have been denied the right to organising and collective bargaining. However, similar to ride-hailing drivers in other parts of the world, they have managed to organise a number of collective actions including strikes, demonstrations, coordinated task-evasion to negotiate with the platforms. This research, based on a survey of ride-hailing and delivery drivers (both motorbikes and cars) in 2021 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, attempts to analyse the perspectives of the drivers with regards to their relationships with the platforms and the need to organise and bargain collectively to protect their safety and interests. The study also explores the strategies adopted by the drivers to negotiate with both the platforms and the authorities. The study found that there is a strong demand for organising the platform drivers, which offers an opportunity for the official trade unions to extend their membership and influence. However, the approach of the trade unions must be adapted significant from their traditional organising strategy to attract the platform workers. 


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