Samsung investigating Chinese child labor abuse allegations

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Samsung on Tuesday announced it is investigating child labor abuse allegations stemming from an undercover report released Monday, which claims the company's Chinese manufacturer HEG is employing workers as young as 14.

In the 31-page undercover report, labor advocacy group China Labor Watch outlines a number of alleged abuses including underage workers, physical abuse and excessive overtime at HEG's mainland China facility, reports Laptop Magazine.

In response, Samsung issued the following statement:
Samsung Electronics has conducted two separate on-site inspections on HEG?s working conditions this year but found no irregularities on those occasions. Given the report, we will conduct another field survey at the earliest possible time to ensure our previous inspections have been based on full information and to take appropriate measures to correct any problems that may surface. Samsung Electronics is a company held to the highest standards of working conditions and we try to maintain that at our facilities and the facilities of partner companies around the world.
According to China Labor Watch, HEG's factory is responsible for manufacturing Samsung smartphones, MP3 players and audio components, among other products.

Labor Report
Photo of alleged child workers at Samsung manufacturer HEG. | Source: China Labor Watch


The report breaks down alleged offenses by category:
  • Child Labor Abuse

    "Based on our investigation, there are around 2,000 workers in HEG currently. During the summer and winter vacation, a rise in student workers can be easily observed. During these periods, student workers may constitute more than 80% of the factory workforce, 20% higher than usual. Based on our investigation and the appearance of these student workers, most of them are under 18, and they receive not a bit of special protection from the factory."

    According to the report, child workers are hired due to "slack internal supervision mechanisms" involving the checking of IDs, while some of the blame falls on vocational school teachers who take advantage of the loophole "to serve their own interests." It is unclear if the educators get a cut of their students' wages or are rewarded by the factory for supplying workers. The report goes on to list the names of child workers investigated.


  • Hiring Discrimination

    The report claims female applicants to HEG must be between the ages of 16 and 30 while males are subject to unwritten rules barring those with tattoos, long hair or disabilities.


  • Excessive Overtime

    Factory stipulations mandate a five-day workweek with an eight-hour workday, but the report alleges the system actually breaks down to 11 hours a day for six days a week. Overtime is required.


  • Labor Contracts, Wage Rates, Reward and Punishment System

    HEG allegedly asks employees to sign two labor contracts but does not furnish the worker with a copy and fails to inform them of rights, benefits and wages. An award and punishment system is also said to be in effect, though the advocacy group claims HEG never rewards employees and "punishes them for reporting defects." These fines run up to $79 for each offense.


  • Appalling Cafeteria and Dormitory Conditions

    Meals are provided in the cafeteria though no subsidy exists for those workers who choose to eat on their own. Work hours and cafeteria hours are sometimes incongruent and workers may only be able to eat once but will be charged for the entire day.

    Prior to June 2012, workers who chose not to live in the on-site dormitories would receive a $16 per month subsidy due to space constraints, however that structure has been terminated as the company moved to a larger location.

  • Lack of Safety Education and Labor Protection

    China Labor Watch notes that employees interviewed were not familiar with environment, health and safety protocols despite being sent to work safety training.

    "The main chemical that workers are exposed to while working is ethyl alcohol. They only have one opportunity per day to get new protective gloves from the supervisor if the gloves are worn out."

    High temperatures within the factory are also an issue.
Samsung maintains the HEG factory passed muster in a recent audit, but the company plans to investigate further.

Chinese factory working conditions has become a hot-button topic, with much of the controversy directed at Apple and its manufacturing partner Foxconn. An expos? monologue from orator Mike Daisey sparked concerns over child labor abuse at Foxconn's factories in mainland China, though the piece was later deemed false. At the request of Apple, a subsequent independent audit found the plants to be "first class," though some issues pertaining to workplace conditions had yet to be addressed. It was announced in May that Apple would initially be sharing the cost with Foxconn to improve the factories.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    "This happens all the time."


     


    [[Apple discovers three fifteen year old laborers]]


     


    "How could Apple let this happen?! They should be ashamed of themselves and fined!"

  • Reply 2 of 26
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    "This happens all the time."

    [[Apple discovers three fifteen year old laborers]]

    "How could Apple let this happen?! They should be ashamed of themselves and fined!"

    Yes, but Samsung is being true to form - and copying Apple even with the negative allegations.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    twopmtwopm Posts: 30member


    LOL

  • Reply 4 of 26
    ochymingochyming Posts: 474member


    Funny, for years PC manufactures made money out of poor working conditions in Asia, noOne went after them. Now that conditions are getting better and Chinese workers are even thinking of unions?


     


    Give me a break!

  • Reply 5 of 26
    ochymingochyming Posts: 474member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Yes, but Samsung is being true to form - and copying Apple even with the negative allegations.


     


     


    He ( she? ) was being sarcastic.

  • Reply 6 of 26
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,866member


    Wait. I thought Apple only abuses children in China. What do you mean other electronics companies manufacture their products in China. Apple lies. Fanbois! kool-aid drinkers. isheep!


     


    /s

  • Reply 7 of 26


    I think it's funny how Americans are appalled at Chinese and other Asian child labor, yet some lauded Newt Gingrich when he suggested child labor to maintain US public school facilities.

  • Reply 8 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by d4rkriver View Post

    I think it's funny how Americans are appalled at Chinese and other Asian child labor, yet some lauded Newt Gingrich when he suggested child labor to maintain US public school facilities.


     


    I think it's fu… oh, sorry, you're new.


     


    We don't bring politics into discussions outside the subforum called PoliticalOutsider. Please keep all political comments there.

  • Reply 9 of 26
    ochymingochyming Posts: 474member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by d4rkriver View Post


    I think it's funny how Americans are appalled at Chinese and other Asian child labor, yet some lauded Newt Gingrich when he suggested child labor to maintain US public school facilities.



     


    The rightWing politicians/Supporters are ALL crazy these days, they just love the Communist Chinese party shenanigans while they call Obama ( which is a centerRight politician at best ) socialist . If their GOD ( R. Reagan ) resurrect today they will kill him asap. 

  • Reply 10 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

    The rightWing politicians/Supporters are ALL crazy these days, they just love the Communist Chinese party shenanigans while they call Obama ( which is a centerRight politician at best ) socialist . If their GOD ( R. Reagan ) resurrect today they will kill him asap. 


     


    And on the off chance you were typing this while I posted the post above it, please refer to the aforementioned post for further comment on this subject.

  • Reply 11 of 26
    ochymingochyming Posts: 474member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    I think it's fu… oh, sorry, you're new.


     


    We don't bring politics into discussions outside the subforum called PoliticalOutsider. Please keep all political comments there.



     


    Is that politics?


     


    What is politics?


     


    From my Dictionary.app


    1 • the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power - NO! - It is not, they discuss policies, NOT politics.


    2 •  activities aimed at improving someone's status or increasing power within an organization - More like it! - What we do here, no?

  • Reply 12 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

    Is that politics?


     


    It's politics because of the way that you, personally, responded to it. Any talk about any politician, contemporary or otherwise, in any context inevitably devolves into the nonsense that we only want in PO.

  • Reply 13 of 26
    ochymingochyming Posts: 474member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    It's politics because of the way that you, personally, responded to it. Any talk about any politician, contemporary or otherwise, in any context inevitably devolves into the nonsense that we only want in PO.



     


    Perhaps. Yeah , i underst you, but …


     


    Is it different from the nonsensical-arousal stretching to insult we all read here?


    - fanboi, isheep, etc, etc


    - my c*ck ( put PC, Mac, iOS, Android ) is bigger than yours?


     


    Is it any different from those absurd parliamentary/Congress debates?


    I think NOT.

  • Reply 14 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

    Is it different from the nonsensical-arousal stretching to insult we all read here?


     


    Yes, in that it has no place outside PO.

  • Reply 15 of 26
    ochymingochyming Posts: 474member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Yes, in that it has no place outside PO.



     


     


    OK.

  • Reply 16 of 26
    Mike Daisey can't make a one-man show out of Samsung's Chinese child labor abuse-by-proxy. He's glad he has Apple to pick on.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    Labor Report

    Photo of alleged child workers at Samsung manufacturer HEG. | Source: China Labor Watch



    This is a Samsung factory?


    The guy with the whip is behind the camera telling them to look & act like little kids?

  • Reply 18 of 26
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member


    Fishy timing

  • Reply 19 of 26
    sr2012sr2012 Posts: 896member
    No...! Only APPLE abuses Chinese children, and are the root of all evil in China... /s

    Edit: Removed "political" comments.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    sr2012sr2012 Posts: 896member
    Edit: Removed "political" comments.
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