The workers of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s flagship smartphone-producing plant in Vietnam have borne the brunt of the production rollback that has been ordered amidst a global fall in consumer spending.
Retailers and warehouses grapple with rising inventory amid a global fall in consumer spending, while America's largest warehouse market bursts with unsold products. Major US retailers such as Best Buy and Target Corp have raised alarm calls over slowing sales as shoppers tighten their belts after early COVID-era spending binges.
Vietnam's northern province of Thai Nguyen, home to one of Samsung's two mobile manufacturing bases in the country, saw the phenomenon manifest in workers’ frustration over reduced working hours, lack of overtime and pay cuts.
Having refused to show up in front of a camera, workers told Reuters that their work days had been cut to just three days a week, while “some lines are adjusting to a four-day workweek instead of six before, and of course, no overtime is needed.”
Samsung, in Vietnam, the world's largest smartphone vendor churning out half of its phone output, shipped around 270 million smartphones in 2021, added that it had the capacity to make around 100 million devices a year.
Being Vietnam's biggest foreign investor and exporter, Samsung boasts six factories across the country, from northern industrial hubs Thai Nguyen and Bac Ninh where most phones and parts are manufactured to Ho Chi Minh City's plant making fridges and washing machines.
Contributing one-fifth of Vietnam’s total exports, Samsung has been powering the country’s economic growth by pumping into it USD 18 billion.
Its arrival nearly a decade ago in Thai Nguyen rejuvenated the area from a sleepy farming district into a sprawling industrial hub that now also manufactures phones for Chinese brands including Xiaomi Corp. Samsung also makes phones in South Korea and India.