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Monday, September 03, 2012
Samsung To Review Chinese Suppliers For Labor Violations

Samsung said on Monday it would inspect 250 Chinese companies which make products for the firm to ensure no labor laws are broken after a U.S.-based group accused one of its suppliers of using child labor.

The company also announced its audit results regarding a field audit Samsung made into working conditions at an HEG Electronics facility in Huizhou, China, which is a supplier to the company. These audits were conducted in August 2012 in response to a report by York-based China Labor Watch group.

Samsung said its investigators did not identify any underage workers during the site audit at HEG Electronics in Huizhou, but we identified workers under the age of 18 on site. These workers were over the age of 16 and were student workers or interns, and their presence was legal.

The audit also identified several instances of inadequate management and potentially unsafe practices. A system of fines for lateness or absences was found to be in operation. Instances of overtime beyond local regulations, or over 9 hours per week, were identified. Certain health and safety measures were inadequate, such as a failure to provide access to a medical clinic.

Samsung has demanded that HEG immediately improve its working conditions. "If HEG fails to meet Samsung's zero tolerance policy on child labor, the contract will be immediately severed," Samsung said.

The S. Korean company is also implementing a plan to address any potential violations. It said it would conduct inspections for all 105 supplier companies in China which produce goods solely for Samsung by the end of September, and review, via documentation, by the end of the year another 144 suppliers that makes products for it and other firms.

The move follows allegations earlier this year that Apple's products were assembled in China amid multiple violations of labor law, including extreme hours.

Apple and its main contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group, whose subsidiary Hon Hai Precision Industry assembles Apple devices in China, later agreed to tackle violations of conditions among the 1.2 million workers assembling iPhones and iPads.

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