World's top shoemaker Pou Chen faces Vietnam labour shortage

FILE PHOTO: A production line worker inspects a sport shoe at the Pou Chen International Group's factory in the central Taiwan city of Changhua, August 6, 1997. REUTERS/Simon Kwong

HANOI, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Pou Chen Corp (9904.TW), the world's largest manufacturer of branded sports footwear, is facing a labour shortage and manufacturing disruption in Vietnam, threatening its plan to return to full operation this month.

Production at its Pouyuen Vietnam factories in Ho Chi Minh City, Long An and Dong Nai, hotspots of the country's coronavirus crisis, has been scaled down since July. Its clients include Nike Inc. (NKE.N) and Adidas AG (ADSGn.DE),

"About 6% of the total employees have quit," Lu Chi Yuan, director of Pouyuen Vietnam said in a statement, which followed a meeting between the company and Ho Chi Minh City authorities.

"We are facing labour shortages, delays in large orders, and production and exports activities disruption," Lu said.

Vietnam until the middle of this year had one of the world's best coronavirus containment records, with limited disruption to its crucial manufacturing sector.

However, that changed after May, when an outbreak in economic hub Ho Chi Minh City intensified and spread to surrounding manufacturing provinces.

The mass exodus of tens of thousands of workers from industrial hubs in October when COVID-19 curbs were lifted has complicated Vietnam's efforts to get its key manufacturing sector back on track.

Lu asked city authorities for help with announcing and posting jobs, to help it ramp up staffing, the statement added.

Vietnam has recorded nearly 985,000 infections in total and 22,700 deaths, with about 41% of the country's population vaccinated.

Editing by Martin Petty

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