Apple suppliers in Vietnam requiring factory sleepovers to prevent COVID19 cases

In a new report by Bloomberg today, Apple and Samsung suppliers are making thousand of Vietnamese workers sleep on factory floors to minimize disruption of COVID-19 resurgence in the country as well as keep industry rolling.

In the northern provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, a key manufacturing hub that’s home to Samsung Electronics Co. and leading Apple Inc. suppliers, authorities say about 150,000 workers are living at industrial parks to reduce the risk of infections. In the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, 22 companies with a workforce of 25,000 also set up sleepover sites for an unspecified number of employees, according to the city’s media center.

The report says thousands of people are sleeping on “metal bunk beds with bamboo mats and cots in makeshift dormitories as well as in tents pitched on cement floors inside cavernous halls, and are quarantined until they test negative after returning from home.”

As Apple’s facing a lot of questions from its own workers in Cupertino who don’t want to come back to Apple Park, on the other side of the world, many factory workers from the company’s suppliers can’t go home.

According to the story, about 400,000 vaccines have been given to employees at Samsung and other global suppliers with plants in Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces. If by one side, Vietnamese workers are being vaccinated, the other, big companies only want production to keep going, as many of them already face semiconductor short supplies.

Bloomberg also talks about that while Vietnam was successful at “limiting infections during the early months of the pandemic, virus numbers began rising in late April. The outbreak forced the temporary closing of northern industrial parks housing units of Foxconn Technology Group and Luxshare Precision Industry Co., the primary assembler of Apple’s AirPods products.”

Authorities have worked with companies including Luxshare “to have them arrange for their workers to sleep in the factories and in dormitories while also having them tested every week,” said Nguyen Dai Luong, chairman of the People’s Council of Viet Yen district, where four of the province’s five operating industrial parks are located. “That has significantly helped stop the virus spread and enabled factories to resume operations quickly.”

In a statement, Foxconn, which plans to move some production of MacBook and iPads to Vietnam, said it is “working closely with the Vietnamese government to ensure that we are able to comply with all relevant public health requirements.”

Luxshare, which is the primary assembler of AirPods, didn’t respond Bloomberg inquiries for comment.