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Apple Waiting for Improved Worker Conditions Before Expanding Production in Vietnam

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple is holding off on expanding production in Vietnam until workers' conditions improve, according to local news reports.



The reports indicate that Apple representatives visited Vietnam earlier this month to investigate existing Luxshare-ICT facilities. Luxshare-ICT has apparently not met Apple's welfare requirements yet, which include adequate dormitories and living conditions for workers. Luxshare-ICT has set out to improve the conditions to expand production for Apple.

"The Apple side continually surveyed the workshop of Luxshare-ICT Vietnam in Bac Giang on iPhone production conditions. Apple is impressed by the speed at which our facility is built here. At the same time, through practical research, Apple highly appreciates the potential in Bac Giang province and hard-working workers," said Tang Due Bang, Foreign Affairs Manager of Luxshare-ICT Vietnam.

Apple demands that manufacturers offer dormitories for workers near manufacturing plants. As Luxshare-ICT Vietnam cannot meet the huge demand for workers, the company has sought to hire workers from further afield. Apple is concerned that this would mean workers have to travel too far to work, and is therefore asking for more nearby dormitories to be built. Construction is waiting on permission from local government.



In May, AirPods Pro manufactured in Vietnam began circulating, and it has been widely rumored that Apple has already begun production of the upcoming AirPods Studio there. Luxshare hopes to expand to manufacture iPhones and Apple Watches in the region.

Major Apple manufacturing contractors Foxconn, Pegatron, and Compal Electronics are reported to be expanding production in Vietnam. Companies are increasingly reducing reliance on China and diversifying supply chains to prevent concentration risks. Vietnam is emerging as a major manufacturing and assembly hub for large technology companies, and Samsung manufactures as many as half of its smartphones there already.

Article Link: Apple Waiting for Improved Worker Conditions Before Expanding Production in Vietnam
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
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The thick of it
I'm not comfortable with the term "dormitories". It sounds as if workers will be impounded there for as long as the factory needs them. If Apple had encouraged the development of "affordable housing" in the area, it would imply that workers could go home but don't have far to travel.
 
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Jupeman

macrumors member
Jan 13, 2008
90
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I'm not comfortable with the term "dormitories". It sounds as if workers will be impounded there for as long as the factory needs them. If Apple had encouraged the development of "affordable housing" in the area, it would imply that workers could go home but don't have far to travel.

This is how factories work in China, too. Many of the Chinese workers are migrant workers who come to work work in plants, live in the dormitories, and travel home only a few times a year to see their families. If you are not comfortable with this, you would probably be shocked if you went to visit Chinese manufacturing, particularly behind the scenes. The world benefits from this not-quite-slave labor and turns a mostly blind eye to it. I appreciate that Apple cares about Vietnam conditions, and I suspect they have done a lot in China (as do a lot of larger US companies), but anything mid tier or lower is likely horrible slave-like conditions. That's how we (the world) have allowed it to happen... <typed to you on a MacBook Pro assembled in China...>
 
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mb335

macrumors member
Apr 23, 2010
46
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I wonder if I'd be nervous having Tim Cook looking over my shoulder while working.
 
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DcXiao

macrumors newbie
May 15, 2019
10
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To be honest, workers can choose not to live in "dormitories". This is not mandatory.

Don't forget both China and Vietnam is a developing country, a lot of people is fighting with poverty. Most workers want to save more money for their family, so they choose to live in the free dormitories and they think this is an employee welfare.
 
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calzon65

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2008
913
3,399
I am confident India's manufacturing prowess and contribution to the world's supply chain will increase given the exodus of many companies from China, but also keep an eye on Vietnam. I think Vietnam is the other up-and-coming player in manufacturing, especially as it relates to their size / contribution to the world's supply chain and their nation's GDP growth.
 
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Harmonious Zen

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2013
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This is how factories work in China, too. Many of the Chinese workers are migrant workers who come to work work in plants, live in the dormitories, and travel home only a few times a year to see their families. If you are not comfortable with this, you would probably be shocked if you went to visit Chinese manufacturing, particularly behind the scenes. The world benefits from this not-quite-slave labor and turns a mostly blind eye to it. I appreciate that Apple cares about Vietnam conditions, and I suspect they have done a lot in China (as do a lot of larger US companies), but anything mid tier or lower is likely horrible slave-like conditions. That's how we (the world) have allowed it to happen... <typed to you on a MacBook Pro assembled in China...>

Sorry, but this is more of the same imposing-Westernized-values-from-afar which really irks me. While I have no doubt that there are certain places in China which reach sweatshop levels and could be considered de facto forced servitude, the vast, vast, vast majority of high tech manufacturing in China is anything but. People from rural areas COVET jobs at Foxconn because they pay well and accommodations are provided for. COVET. As in, voluntarily go because they WANT the jobs. Sure, work is boring and very tedious, but the pay is much better than anything those workers could've obtained in their home towns. And, in fact, the money they make, a portion of that goes home to support their families. These factories in China are literally pulling millions out of poverty.
 
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Jupeman

macrumors member
Jan 13, 2008
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Sorry, but this is more of the same imposing-Westernized-values-from-afar which really irks me. While I have no doubt that there are certain places in China which reach sweatshop levels and could be considered de facto forced servitude, the vast, vast, vast majority of high tech manufacturing in China is anything but. People from rural areas COVET jobs at Foxconn because they pay well and accommodations are provided for. COVET. As in, voluntarily go because they WANT the jobs. Sure, work is boring and very tedious, but the pay is much better than anything those workers could've obtained in their home towns. And, in fact, the money they make, a portion of that goes home to support their families. These factories in China are literally pulling millions out of poverty.

For sure, but don't be so idealistic to think that if it was not for "imposing Westernized values from afar", which is what this article is all about if you did not notice(!), then the conditions would be horrific. If you don't care about worker abuse, regardless of nationality, then that's cool. You be you. To the degree anyone should worry about atrocities in other cultures, at all, is a very valid debate. I have worked in this world and oversaw manufacturing in China for a U.S. based company and have toured many factories in many regions. I am not talking completely out of my ass here. Plainly, most Westerners have no idea how good they have it.
 
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carrrrrlos

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2010
681
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Apple has wrapped its brand ethos around California so much - curious if designed in California will ever change. There’s no value in designed in California to me as a consumer. There are fantastic designers all over the world, and chances are their design team catches inspiration beyond whatever four walls they work in.
 
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Duane Martin

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2004
400
888
Calgary, Alberta
Tim Cook pretending to understand what is happening in this scene...
Tim Cook has been a master of supply chain management and is one to the key facilitators of Apple's recovery with the return of Steve Jobs in the late '90s. He did not achieve that by not understanding processes or being stupid. Obviously there are virtually no qualifications required to comment on his abilities. Woohoo, MacRumors rocks!
 
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Larabee119

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2014
38
113
I'm not comfortable with the term "dormitories". It sounds as if workerswill be impounded there for as long as the factory needs them. If Apple had encouraged the development of affordable housing" in the area, it would imply that workers could go home but don't have far to travel.
Welcome to the truth of third world country. Many workers stay in dorms and work in the factories for long hours. They originally from poorer province and want to find work in the bigger cities. So, instead of paying expensive rent, they flock together and live in dorm. They want to work more to get the extra money.
There are also cheap rent setup by others citizens nearby the factories too.
I’m glad apple brought jobs to vietnam instead of china.


Good time to bring jobs to America?
4 dollars / hour vs 8 to 13 dollars/ hour...
not a good move if Tim wants to keep his job.
 
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TrevorR90

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2009
270
177
It’s not about the money. It’s about finding >100,000 people willing to sit in one spot all day performing the same menial, tedious physical action over and over. That work force doesn’t exist in America.

It's mostly about money. There are jobs that are similar, like auto plant workers, they do the same type of work over and over again.
 
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cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
19,716
20,639
California
It's mostly about money. There are jobs that are similar, like auto plant workers, they do the same type of work over and over again.
Not at all similar. Auto workers don’t sit in one place all day, performing the same action over and over. And auto plants don’t employ hundreds of thousands of people to do so, like the iphone assembly plants do.
 
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Arsenikdote

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2013
35
18
Hmmm. After reading the article about employee uniforms being manufactured by forced labour in Xinjiang..

I'm not sure you did read the article, maybe just the MacRumors highlights? Macrumors was misleading as they did not cover much of the information. The issue was not around the uniforms being MFG'd by forced labor, it was around whether the cotton used to make the shirts was produced using forced labor. This is important for two reasons. 1 - It is another layer deeper in the supply chain making it another level of difficulty to make sure things are being handled properly (not an excuse, just fact). 2 - This was also all BEFORE the sanctions and since then Apple has confirmed that not even cotton comes from the western Xinjiang region. Did some of the raw materials come from that region before and maybe was produced using forced labor? Possibly! But you didn't read the whole article and also based on your non-detailed response have never had to deal with complex supply chains. I have dealt with moderate-level complexity in supply chains and it is chaos. For what Apple attempts to do, and how fast they act when something is found, I (personal opinion) personally think they are truly making an effort.
 
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Arsenikdote

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2013
35
18
Not at all similar. Auto workers don’t sit in one place all day, performing the same action over and over. And auto plants don’t employ hundreds of thousands of people to do so, like the iphone assembly plants do.

You are incorrect about sitting in one place and doing the same action over and over. I have done consulting work at multiple vehicle MFG plants in multiple states and have seen it first hand. I have seen it in passenger vehicles, semi MFG, bus MFG, etc... A prime example is wiring harnesses, but there are many others if you move around the facilities.

Oh and while you make it sound horrendous, and I personally would never want to do it, a lot of workers have worked there for decades, some 30+ years. They could have easily transferred to a different department. Some do, some move around, some stay put. They also could have got different jobs in the 30 years they have been doing it. But unlike maybe you and me, some people just like that type of work. They like the structure and consistency.

I don't condone forced/slave labor and I am not going to get into the woes and politics of global manufacturing, I will just say your comments on sitting in one place and doing repetitive work is utterly incorrect and not just in vehicle manufacturing. I have seen it in medical equipment, binocular, knife, and tech component manufacturing. All US based and all essentially the same MFG line process as used to produce things overseas. Doesn't mean the pay or conditions are the same, but again avoiding that topic since it wasn't what I felt you needed correction/more information on.
 
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