The Vietnam General Federation of Labor wants the minimum wage hiked by a third next year to cover 75-84 percent of workers' basic living needs.
The minimum wage is now VND1.65-2.35 million (US$78-111.13) a month, depending on the location.
But the average cost of living is estimated to be VND1.928 million for individuals and VND3.278 million for those with children, according to data compiled by the federation.
The federation expects that to increase next year to VND2.435-4.113 million, and has put two alternative proposals to the National Wage Council hike the minimum wage by either 24-36 percent or by 21-32 percent.
It said few employers have been paying bonuses this year due to the sluggish economy.
A recent study of 68 Vietnamese firms by the federation found that workers earn an average of VND3.667 million a month.
But more than five percent earn less than VND2 million, it said.
News website VnExpress quoted Le Xuan Thanh, deputy chief of the Department of Labor and Wage, as saying that there were 506 strikes last year demanding higher wages.
Like us on Facebook and scroll down to share your comment