World’s Top Shoemaker Says Thousands Left Factories in Vietnam
(Bloomberg) -- Tens of thousands of staff have failed to return to work at a Vietnamese unit of the world’s biggest maker of athletic shoes, jeopardizing plans to return to full production next month.
Just 20% to 30% of workers returned to the Ho Chi Minh City operations of Taiwanese shoemaker Pou Chen Corp. when they reopened Wednesday, Zing News reported. That means more than 40,000 workers haven’t returned, the news website said, citing the head of the company’s labor union.
Pou Chen’s customers include Nike Inc. and Adidas AG.
Thousands of Vietnamese migrant workers have returned to their home provinces during the pandemic and the company is unsure if it can ramp up staffing to operate at full capacity as planned from mid-November, according to the report.
The Vietnamese government has warned that millions of migrant workers could flee the country’s industrial heartland around Ho Chi Minh City, exacerbating strains in the already troubled global supply chain just as western retailers gear up for the key Christmas shopping season.
The threat adds to months of stress on global manufacturing supply chains as the Covid-19 pandemic forces factories and ports to shut down across Asia -- a key producer of computer chips, raw materials and finished consumer goods such as sneakers, toys and automobiles.
The Zing News report didn’t say whether workers have also left Pou Chen plants in nearby provinces of Dong Nai, Tay Ninh and Tien Giang.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.