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Samsung Supplier Accused of Exploiting Child Labor

According to the “watchdog” agency, China Labor Watch, a HEG Electronics factory that assembles products for Samsung Electronics has been hiring workers that are underage and thus, violating Chinese labor laws which happen to be very, very strict when it comes to things like that. In the process of their investigation the auditor discovered at least seven underage workers, and also believed that there were many more illegal workers undiscovered by the spot audit. The HEG Electronics factory assembles mobile phones, stereo equipment and MP3 players for Samsung Electronics whom is very famous for their vast array of stellar products.

The report from the China Labor Watch detailed the increased employment of “underage laborers” during both summer and winter vacations. The student workforce can reach up to about 80 percent of the labor force in the Electronics factory, when there are no vacation times, the workforce is often at 60 percent. Underage workers deal with the same conditions as the adults are, but are paid only 70 perfect of the adult wages.

China Labor Watch has also reported that “any carelessness, such as slow movements, misoperation, or late completion of team leaders’ orders could provoke the shouting of team leaders at anytime. Every day, employees in the workshops were punished by standing all day long, writing self-criticism, or getting fined.”On top of that, the China Labor Watch found that the company has neither a health clinic nor first-aid kits in dorms of the factory floor. That right there is a big oops in itself. Accidental injuries in the factory are treated by their supervisors. The China Labor Watch report claims that the factory “essentially offers no medial protection measures” to its workers whatsoever. Whether this includes the adults, that has been unconfirmed.

HEG has also been accused of accumulating the child labor force pool through poor internal supervision and substandard ID review. Local schools were also found to be supplying the works to the factory. They also provided them with forged identification cards that claimed the legal work age. It’s absolutely insane how the school was actually helping the factory too. It’s understandable as to why though. Children that live in China often feel the obligation to work in order to help support their families. This is most common in the rural areas where poverty is very common.

The odd thing is that Samsung has denied the charges and told ZDNet Asia that, “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.”

If you remember anything about a similar report that actually dealt with Samsung’s competitor, Apple, Apple has actually agreed to make changes to the working conditions at Foxconn. Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SSACM) says that they recently visited a few different Foxconn factories and interviewed around 170 different workers. The have claimed that the violations haven’t changed and have “remained the norm,” which has involved high production targets, inhumane treatment and also a whole lot of evidence of broad salary cuts. The claims haven’t been independently verified as of yet, but we’ll make sure to keep you notified on future updates.

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