Pou Chen Corp. plans to introduce unpaid leave in wake of COVID-19

CNA file photo for illustrative purposes only

TAIPEI (CNA) — Footwear manufacturer Pou Chen Corporation on Tuesday said it plans to ask employees in Taiwan to take six days of unpaid leave per month due to the global impact of COVID-19.

The measure, pending discussions with the union, could take effect from June until the end of 2020, and potentially impact about 3,000 employees in Taiwan.

The plan has been rolled out in response to the ongoing pandemic, which the company said could have a serious impact on its sales revenue over the long term.

However Pou Chen refused to comment on media reports that orders in the second quarter dropped by as much as 50 percent.

In addition, a 10 percent pay cut will be imposed on employees in top managerial positions, the company said, noting that those working in its overseas plants will not be affected by the unpaid leave scheme.

Pou Chen, which was founded in central Taiwan in 1969, produces athletic and casual footwear for international brands such as Nike, Adidas, Asics and New Balance. It also has overseas production facilities in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar.

The footwear manufacturer currently employs roughly 350,000 people worldwide.

Pou Chen’s consolidated revenue for the first quarter of this year was NT$59.46 billion, an annual decline of 22.4 percent. On Tuesday, its share price on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) dropped by 4.32 percent to NT$27.65.