After Samsung landed in hot water last month for a report that alleged labor violations at a Chinese facility connected to it, the same group which published the earlier report is saying that Samsung labor violations in China is more widespread.
According to China Labor Watch, they discovered questionable working practices at eight Samsung “directly-operated and supplier factories throughout China”.
Last month, the New York-based group published a report that alleged that HEG, a company Samsung has under contract to manufacture components and appliances, is employing children as young as 14 years old.
Samsung vowed then to investigate the matter immediately and it dispatched an inspection team to the Chinese facility.
Samsung said then:
“Samsung Electronics has conducted two separate on-site inspections on HEG’s working conditions this year but found no irregularities on those occasions. A team of inspectors consisting of Samsung personnel from Korea headquarters will be dispatched to Huizhou, China on August 9, and it will immediately launch an investigation and 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.”
At the start of the month, Samsung reported that their inspection of the HEG facility revealed there were no underage workers employed at the factory.
However, the South Korean company did say they uncovered inadequate management and potentially unsafe practices at the HEG plant.
According to Samsung, it “demanded that HEG immediately improve its working conditions.”
Samsung told HEG “that it must comply with all applicable labor laws and Samsung’s labor and employment right policies.”
“If HEG fails to meet Samsung’s zero tolerance policy on child labor, the contract will be immediately severed,” Samsung said.
However, a new report from the labor watchdog China Labor Watch says that the problem regarding labor violations in China connected to Samsung does not just lie with the HEG plant.
According to the group, they “uncovered a long list of severe labor abuses in these 8 factories, including but not limited to well over 100 hours of forced overtime work per month, unpaid work, standing for 11 to 12 hours while working, underage workers, severe age and gender discrimination, abuse of student and labor dispatch workers, a lack of worker safety, and verbal and physical abuse. Moreover, workers lack of any effective internal grievance channel by which to rectify these transgressions.” (Emphasis added)
The labor watchdog said that these factories include facilities in Tianjin, Weihai, Huizhou, Suzhou, and Shenzhen in China.
As an example of how severe the violations are in the Chinese factories connected to Samsung, China Labor Watch said in its press release:
“One of the worst violators is a supplier factory called Tianjin Intops Co., Ltd, which employs about 1200 workers, almost all of whom are female dispatch workers. Here, workers must work standing for 11 hours per day, assembling one cell phone casing every 5 seconds. During peak seasons, they must work up to 150 hours of overtime per month, where the legal limit is 36 hours. And these workers are dependent on overtime for a living wage because their monthly base salaries are one half of their overtime wages. On the factory floor, for no apparent reason, workers are not allowed to wear shoes. Foremen are verbally abusive, and when these young women leave the factory, security guards will often berate them. Intops provides absolutely no safety training for workers, and those responsible for printing are not even provided masks to protect them from fumes.”
Samsung has vowed after the completion of its inspection at HEG that it will inspect all of its factories and supplier factories in China.
Images from samsungtomorrow on Flickr