The Nasdaq-listed Flex, formerly known as Flextronics International, has reportedly asked a majority of its factory workers in Zhuhai, Guangdong province to take a week off after it decided to suspend its contract manufacturing services for Huawei Technologies.
On Tuesday, Flex announced internally that it had decided to stop supplying parts to Huawei, which was put on the US Commerce Department’s Entity List last week, Hong Kong’s TVB reported. The operation of all production lines that serve Huawei was suspended in Zhuhai, Dongguan and Changsha.
On the same day, Huawei was seen deploying more than 200 trucks to take away its raw materials from Flex’s factory in Zhuhai. On Wednesday, Flex stopped hiring new staff while many workers had nothing to do in the factory as three out of four production lines stopped running.
On Thursday, some workers and production line managers were wandering on streets near the Zhuhai factory after they were asked to take leaves until May 30 or even longer. They told media reporters about their situations.
A Flex worker surnamed Wen, who worked on a mobile phone motherboard production line at Flex, told TVB that a lot of workers had nothing to do in the factory and were asked to take leaves.
Some workers said they felt that their workloads had been declining since Sunday while they were worried about losing their jobs after hearing that Huawei had taken away the raw materials from Flex. They said their basic monthly salary was about 2,000 yuan (US$290).
According to an internal memo obtained by media, Flex promised to its workers in the “PCBA-South Campus HW Wireless & HW Device” production team that they will get paid during their vacations and won’t lose any annual leave time. Staff are required to show up if they work in the office.
“We are continuing to evaluate the Entity List regulatory amendment issued by the US Department of Commerce relating to Huawei and will ensure that Flex remains in compliance with US and all other applicable trade laws,” a spokesperson of Flex said in an emailed statement. “Specifics of our relationship with Huawei are confidential so we’re unable to discuss additional details.”
Flex, controlled by US investors, has its headquarter in Singapore. It is one of the world’s largest companies in the field of global electronics manufacturing services and original design manufacturing. It changed its name from Flextronics in 2015.
Last year, the company made 2.4 billion yuan by supplying mobile phone and laptop parts to Huawei. It is the biggest foreign industrial investor in Zhuhai and employs about 40,000 people. Globally, it has 200,000 employees.
This article has been updated on May 25.