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Amid Note 7 Debacle, Samsung Cuts Pay, Work Hours in Northern Vietnam Plants

Despite promises that the Note 7 debacle would not impact workers at Samsung's factory in northern Vietnam, employees face reduced income and fewer working hours.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, all is not well at the massive Samsung complex in Bac Ninh province. Last month, the Korean electronics giant discontinued production of its flagship Note 7 smartphone after batteries around the world burst into flames.

Many of the phones were assembled in Bac Ninh, but Samsung assured its workers that their employment would not be impacted by the Note 7's issues. However, several employees told the news source that this has not been the case.

"My pay has gone down by 40-50%," an assembly line worker named Nguyen Thi Kieu Anh told Nikkei. Anh also shared that she and her coworkers now finish their day at 5pm, three hours ealier than before Note 7 production ended.

Meanwhile, other members of the 110,000-strong workforce have been told to stay home, while new hiring for the holiday season appears to have been halted, the news source reports. 

Samsung's problems extend beyond its employees, as a huge supporting economy has sprung up around the factory. Nguyen Van Loi, who sells fruit outside the plant, told Nikkei: "The factory used to be so busy toward the end of the year, and the workers wouldn't come out until night." Now, his sales have fallen 30% since October.

Nguyen Van Chien, meanwhile, owns a boarding house nearby. He only has 30 tenants at the moment, down from 50 last year.

The economic impact may also extend nationwide, even though Vietnam's national statistics bureau claims the Note 7's failure will only slow exports by 0.3% this year. Samsung is the largest foreign employer in the country and has pumped US$7.5 billion into Bac Ninh so any slowdown will ripple throughout the economy.

According to Nikkei, 160 local suppliers provide components for Samsung, and they are being hurt by the tech giant's misfortune. Truong Dinh Tuyen, a former minister of commerce and industry, tells the news source that "trouble for Samsung leads directly to trouble for the Vietnamese economy".

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that a Samsung microwave factory outside of Kuala Lumpur is employing laborers under dubious practices. Workers from countries like Nepal and Bangladesh pay huge sums to job agencies for the opportunity to work in Malaysia, only to have their passports confiscated upon arrival.

[Photo via Samsung Vietnam]


Related Articles:

No Plans to Lay off Vietnamese Workers After Galaxy Note 7 Fiasco: Samsung

Samsung Suspends Vietnam Production of Galaxy Note 7

Bac Ninh Flush With Samsung Cash, But Is It Sustainable?


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