Abel Valenzuela, Jr.

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Abel Valenzuela, Jr.

Vietnam trip, 2011

In April 2011 Tim Paulson, of the San Francisco Labor Council traveled to Vietnam, on business and pleasure. In Vietnam Paulson met with his friend Kent Wong, from the UCLA Labor Studies Department. Wong arrived in Hanoi the same night Paulson arrived, along with Elaine Bernard, Chair of the Harvard Trade Union Program; Abel Valenzuela, Jr., Chair of the UCLA Cesar Chavez Chicano Studies Department; and Greg Mantsios, Director of the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education & Labor Studies at The City University of New York.

The group was picked up by leaders from the national Vietnamese General Federation of Trade Unions whom Paulson had visited with Kent Wong three years previously. The San Francisco and Alameda Labor Councils and the Asian Pacific American Labor Association have twice hosted leaders from the VGTU for labor exchanges as well. Wong had organized this conference with American and Vietnamese labor scholars to exchange ideas regarding organizing policy, the role of labor education and labor law between the two countries—one country controlled by capital and the other gradually allowing corporations to “invest” in its economy. They invited Paulson to participate before he continued his vacation. [1]

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