What you need to know
- Apple suppliers in Vietnam are trying to battle a resurgence of COVID-19.
- Workers at some factories have been staying on site to try to prevent the spread of infection.
- Some workers are sleeping in bunk beds and tents on the factory floors.
A new report reveals the drastic measures some suppliers, including those in Apple's supply chain, are taking to prevent the spread of COVID in factories in Vietnam.
As Vietnam battles a resurgence of Covid-19, the nation is going to extraordinary lengths to protect its reputation as a vital cog in the global tech supply chain — with thousands of workers sleeping on factory floors to minimize disruption.
The report says that in northern provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, one manufacturing hub that hosts Apple and Samsung suppliers has 150,000 workers living on-site temporarily to stop COVID spreading at plants, a similar hub in Ho Chi Minh City is also reportedly hosting "sleepover sites":
They're 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.
One worker told Bloomberg that it was "strange to live in a factory" and "a bit difficult to sleep at first", however stated, "my colleagues and I understand that it's necessary and just temporary."
The report notes how Vietnam "was successful at limiting infections during the early months of the pandemic" but is now battling a surge in cases that saw plants closed earlier this year, including those of Luxshare Precision, a key supplier of Apple's AirPods.
The report says the arrangement has been made with help from the local government:
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."
Another worker told Bloomberg "we sleep in tents the company set up on the factory's floor" but that whilst they missed their parents sometimes it was "actually quite nice to sleep in factory" because it has air conditioning 24 hours a day.
You can read the full report here.