TSMC managers think Americans don't work hard enough

Posted:
in General Discussion
As plans advance for the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company expansion in Arizona, there are concerns about costs and expectations of the American work force.

TSMC
TSMC


TSMC confirmed plans to open an advanced fabrication plant in Arizona in 2020 and tripled its investment to $40 billion in 2022.

However, some employees aren't happy about the plans, according to a report from The New York Times. One explanation is that Taiwanese engineers are accustomed to working long hours and on weekends, which American workers are unlikely to find appealing.

Three TSMC employees also stated that it was challenging to standardize processes among US engineers who questioned their approaches. Wayne Chiu, an engineer who left TSMC in 2022, said he considered joining the Arizona facility but realized he would likely have to "pick up the slack" for US workers.

"The most difficult thing about wafer manufacturing is not technology," he said. "The most difficult thing is personnel management. Americans are the worst at this, because Americans are the most difficult to manage."

In contrast, Taiwanese engineers follow orders without question. Another TSMC engineer said that when given several projects, some Americans struggled and occasionally turned down new assignments rather than working harder or longer to finish them all.

The move is helped by the CHIPS Act that President Biden signed into law in August 2022. It offers more than $52 billion to support US businesses in developing new semiconductor facilities, funding research, and increasing current manufacturing.

TSMC founder Morris Chang remarked in October that US efforts to rebuild its chip manufacturing industry were "doomed to fail". However, he later said in December that TSMC is "far more prepared."

So far, TSMC expects the Arizona factory to begin producing microchips by 2024, and the company plans to add a second facility to the site. Although the project has been challenging, TSMC remains committed to assisting Apple in moving some manufacturing outside of China.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    In my experience, longer hours or extra days = slower work. If you know you have more time, you take more time. You're not going to work at the same pace knowing it's a 12 hour day versus an 8 hour day or a 6 day week instead of a 5 day week. 
    jas99InspiredCodeCluntBaby92tyler82ronnStrangeDayswatto_cobraFileMakerFellerelijahg
  • Reply 2 of 56
    In my experience, longer hours or extra days = slower work. If you know you have more time, you take more time. You're not going to work at the same pace knowing it's a 12 hour day versus an 8 hour day or a 6 day week instead of a 5 day week. 
    You're confirming TSMC's statements :-)
    lkruppmikethemartiandewmegilly33ravnorodomsflageljdwjohnwhite1001watto_cobrakestral
  • Reply 3 of 56
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,799member
    And those of us in the west think they work TOO hard. Life is about balance, and if TSMC can’t understand that, then they have little chance of success here. Remember the Foxconn suicides? Yeah, won’t don’t put up with a workplace like that. We walk. 
    rob53blastdoorjas99baconstangCluntBaby92ravnorodomtyler82ronnStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 56
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    In my experience, longer hours or extra days = slower work. If you know you have more time, you take more time. You're not going to work at the same pace knowing it's a 12 hour day versus an 8 hour day or a 6 day week instead of a 5 day week. 
    Not if you were working for Steve Jobs. You'd would have  been out on the street with a tin cup.
    baconstangravnorodomwatto_cobraBart Ykestral
  • Reply 5 of 56
    twolf2919 said:
    In my experience, longer hours or extra days = slower work. If you know you have more time, you take more time. You're not going to work at the same pace knowing it's a 12 hour day versus an 8 hour day or a 6 day week instead of a 5 day week. 
    You're confirming TSMC's statements :-)
    How? TSMC is claiming their workers "work harder" because they have longer hours/work on weekends. Human nature around the world = work pace is relative to the amount of time you're expected to be on the job. This has already been proven by countries experimenting with 4 day work weeks instead of 5. 
    llamajas99ronnwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 6 of 56
    lkrupp said:
    In my experience, longer hours or extra days = slower work. If you know you have more time, you take more time. You're not going to work at the same pace knowing it's a 12 hour day versus an 8 hour day or a 6 day week instead of a 5 day week. 
    Not if you were working for Steve Jobs. You'd would have  been out on the street with a tin cup.
    There's an old adage in the computer world: sit down, carefully plan out the time you think you need to complete the project, then take that number and double it. 
    tyler82watto_cobraelijahg
  • Reply 7 of 56
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,481member
    They’re not wrong 😑 
    dewmewatto_cobraBart Ykestral
  • Reply 8 of 56
    Total federally mandated paid leave for workers based on 5 day work week:  Taiwan = 22-42 days, United States = 0.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_annual_leave_by_country
    edited February 2023 roundaboutnowtenthousandthingstyler82ronnwatto_cobraFileMakerFellerelijahg
  • Reply 9 of 56
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,436member
    DAalseth said:
    And those of us in the west think they work TOO hard. Life is about balance, and if TSMC can’t understand that, then they have little chance of success here. Remember the Foxconn suicides? Yeah, won’t don’t put up with a workplace like that. We walk. 

    They are right. Americans aren't hard working people. They're lazy. They aren't competitive. 

    China brings results, America consumes them. 

    As for Foxconn suicide, more people committed suicides when they are not employed. Statistics matter and to blame suicide on Foxconn is hilarious and so detached from the whole context of suicide prevention. Asians value work more and if they don't work, they feel worthless and are likely to commit suicide. The suicide rate at Foxconn is significantly lower than the rate outside of Foxconn but for some reason, people are convinced people are killing themselves because of hardships at Foxconn. People at Foxconn are also paid more than the average outside of Foxconn and Foxconn is one of the most sought companies for many Asians to work for. 

    Americans have NO business to impose their values on the Asians who see differently. Asians take pride in hard work and education more than Americans do. They love electronics and technology. They would be happy working 7 days a week. 


    gilly33sflagelkestral
  • Reply 10 of 56
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,528member
    It’s interesting that some here are imposing their values on others. We tend to think that an 8 hour day is final. But that’s not true everywhere, particularly in Asia. When you’re management, or off the clock in a white collar position, you’re often expected to work longer hours. But you get other perks that other employees don’t, as an offset. Apple still expects software, and likely hardware engineers, to spend most of their time near the end of a project, on that project, and limit, to some extent, the time they spend with their families, in order to finish on time.

    we look at gains made in labor here, and don’t understand that it’s not true everywhere.
    dewmellamagilly33FileMakerFellerwatto_cobraBart Y
  • Reply 11 of 56
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,528member
    netrox said:
    DAalseth said:
    And those of us in the west think they work TOO hard. Life is about balance, and if TSMC can’t understand that, then they have little chance of success here. Remember the Foxconn suicides? Yeah, won’t don’t put up with a workplace like that. We walk. 

    They are right. Americans aren't hard working people. They're lazy. They aren't competitive. 

    China brings results, America consumes them. 

    As for Foxconn suicide, more people committed suicides when they are not employed. Statistics matter and to blame suicide on Foxconn is hilarious and so detached from the whole context of suicide prevention. Asians value work more and if they don't work, they feel worthless and are likely to commit suicide. The suicide rate at Foxconn is significantly lower than the rate outside of Foxconn but for some reason, people are convinced people are killing themselves because of hardships at Foxconn. People at Foxconn are also paid more than the average outside of Foxconn and Foxconn is one of the most sought companies for many Asians to work for. 

    Americans have NO business to impose their values on the Asians who see differently. Asians take pride in hard work and education more than Americans do. They love electronics and technology. They would be happy working 7 days a week. 


    What you’re saying isn’t true either. Europeans, who enjoy far more vacation and sick time than we do, as well as many other perks we don’t get here, say that we work too hard, for too long. The reality is that no one is right. But no one is wrong either. Somehow we manage to do what we have to with whatever customers we do it with.
    dewmeCluntBaby92tyler82ronnFileMakerFellerwatto_cobraBart Yelijahg
  • Reply 12 of 56
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    For as fat and lazy as Americans have become, the adjusted per capital GDP (based on PPP - purchasing power parity) in the US is still higher than in Taiwan. 

    And that is including all the fat and lazy ones.  Which the TMSC managers don’t believe exist in Taiwan. 

    edited February 2023 jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 56
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,263member
    netrox said:
    DAalseth said:
    And those of us in the west think they work TOO hard. Life is about balance, and if TSMC can’t understand that, then they have little chance of success here. Remember the Foxconn suicides? Yeah, won’t don’t put up with a workplace like that. We walk. 





    Americans have NO business to impose their values on the Asians who see differently. Asians take pride in hard work and education more than Americans do. They love electronics and technology. They would be happy working 7 days a week. 


    That’s why Asian and Indian Americans are the most successful minority groups in the US. They work very hard in school, and at their employment. The rest of us should emulate that. 
    grandact73watto_cobraBart Ykestral
  • Reply 14 of 56
    lkrupp said:
    In my experience, longer hours or extra days = slower work. If you know you have more time, you take more time. You're not going to work at the same pace knowing it's a 12 hour day versus an 8 hour day or a 6 day week instead of a 5 day week. 
    Not if you were working for Steve Jobs. You'd would have  been out on the street with a tin cup.
    You don't know anything about it at all.
    DAalsethchadbagjas99grandact73ronnelijahg
  • Reply 15 of 56
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    Total federally mandated paid leave for workers based on 5 day work week:  Taiwan = 22-42 days, United States = 0.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_annual_leave_by_country
    This is immaterial.  It only shows the difference in political systems.  Meaning the time is mandated in some countries, while in the US it is a company/employee issue.   Many (I’d say most, with some industries that excluded, and not including part time it low pay service industries (fast food etc)) companies offer reasonably good holiday and vacation policies.  

     As an example, the US company I work for  offers 11, I think, paid holidays plus a number of vacation days based on how long you’ve been there.  For example at 6 1/2 years I had 18 days iirc. At a certain grade level they just changed it so there is no official counted or tracked vacation, but an “unlimited time off” policy where you just work it out with your manager.   My manager OKs up to 20 days a year without issue and more than that depending on your need and company needs at the moment. So you can be off more if your manager allows it (and managers at this company are sensitive to employees needs so don’t refuse out of hand or anything but usually try and make it happen ).  None of this is mandated by law but almost every company I’ve worked for since the mid 80s has been similar (SW industry).   My wife, an RN gets 11-12 holidays plus about 30 days of “paid time off”.  This includes minor sick days (major sicknesses fall into short term disability which is a different program that their hospital offers at no charge)
    gilly33roundaboutnowtyler82Bart Y
  • Reply 16 of 56
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    Back in the early 90s I worked at DEC in Germany for a year and a half.  I was amazed that anything got done.  We had about 45 days off plus the mandated holidays (Christmas, Mary Ascension Day, May Day. That sort of thing).  And all system upgrades had to happen during regular work hours — not overnight or weekends.  So much time away (I was Not complaining) and restrictive work rules made it difficult to schedule facility wide or group wide upgrades etc.  and we had to request our “major” days off for the year in Feb so that the managers could schedule everyone’s days off around company plans /needs.  I found it very stressful myself.  

    And why it was about 45 days— we had 30 days vacation plus worked a 40 hour week but the actual work week for us at the time was 37.5 hours so they comped us the 2.5 hours a week up front.  (Later they made these comp hours a little more restrictive but I was getting ready to leave the company and country at the time of that change). 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 56
    chadbag said:
    Total federally mandated paid leave for workers based on 5 day work week:  Taiwan = 22-42 days, United States = 0.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_annual_leave_by_country
    This is immaterial.  It only shows the difference in political systems.  Meaning the time is mandated in some countries, while in the US it is a company/employee issue.   Many (I’d say most, with some industries that excluded, and not including part time it low pay service industries (fast food etc)) companies offer reasonably good holiday and vacation policies.  
    Gong! You're incorrect. The United States is the second worst in the world!

    https://fortune.com/2022/12/05/america-ranks-second-worst-countries-paid-vacation-days-behind-micronesia/
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 56
    TSMC is 1000% correct. PERIOD! We used to be a nation that led the world, now we just ‘watch’ the world go by. 
    watto_cobraBart Ykestral
  • Reply 19 of 56
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    chadbag said:
    Total federally mandated paid leave for workers based on 5 day work week:  Taiwan = 22-42 days, United States = 0.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_annual_leave_by_country
    This is immaterial.  It only shows the difference in political systems.  Meaning the time is mandated in some countries, while in the US it is a company/employee issue.   Many (I’d say most, with some industries that excluded, and not including part time it low pay service industries (fast food etc)) companies offer reasonably good holiday and vacation policies.  
    Gong! You're incorrect. The United States is the second worst in the world!

    https://fortune.com/2022/12/05/america-ranks-second-worst-countries-paid-vacation-days-behind-micronesia/
    It’s be nice to read but is behind a paywall. 

    I’m not incorrect.  I said there were exceptions.  Some industries (railroads) for example) have different rules which pull things down and low grade service like fast food (non managerial part time) and similar probably also doesn’t offer and part time work may also not.  I’ve yet to see a normal full time skilled or semi skilled job (again there are exceptions some of which I’ve listed) that didn’t offer reasonable vacation time.   I couldn’t read the article but I’m pretty sure their lumping  in part time, low grade service like fast food, and other stuff in that brings the whole number down and doesn’t reflect reality for standard full time skilled and semi skilled workers.   

    Heck my son, who works part time as a package handler at UPS, gets holidays and some vacation time.  

    I’m talking about the reality.  I’ve never in my 40+ year work life not have holidays and reasonable vacation time.  Neither has the wife (different field) and all
    of my friends and family that I am aware if.  All my neighbors as well that I know of, based on conversations. 


    Bart Y
  • Reply 20 of 56
    chadbag said:
    For as fat and lazy as Americans have become, the adjusted per capital GDP (based on PPP - purchasing power parity) in the US is still higher than in Taiwan. 

    And that is including all the fat and lazy ones.  Which the TMSC managers don’t believe exist in Taiwan. 

    Per capita numbers is an average and takes into account many different things.  The USA at $75K vs Taiwan at 69.5K is a relatively close number.  But, if you look at poverty levels between the two countries, Taiwan has less than 1% poverty, whereas the US is over 10%.  Different distribution system.

    The fact is, in the US, many people don't want to work. They feel working is beneath them.  In Taiwan, it's considered an honor to work and be successful.  In the US, we can get away with it for now because the US currently has more money. However, the percentage of global wealth in the US has been on a pretty steady decline for the last couple of decades.   Eventually, that well will run dry and not working will not longer be an option.
    chadbagigorskyFileMakerFellerBart Ykestral
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