China Labor Watch released a 122-page report divulging alleged labor abuses in several Samsung factories. The report is the result of an investigation that took four months. Two of the factories identified in the report are suppliers for the South Korean electronics giant while the other six are operated by Samsung itself. These factories have a total of more than 20,000 workers that provide Samsung with the labor needed to make smartphones, DVD players, mobile components and other electronic parts.
Among the allegations listed by China Labor Watch are unpaid work, physical abuse, verbal abuse, discrimination regarding gender, age, and appearance, over 100 hours of forced overtime labor, eleven to twelve hours straight of standing, underage employees, absence of worker safety measures, and gruelling working conditions in general.
One factory where conditions are said to be particularly harsh is Tianjin Intops Co. Ltd., a factory supplying parts for Samsung. Employees in said factory purportedly are not permitted to wear shoes in the work are. Moreover, during the peak season, they are made to work for more than 150 hours. Similar situations happen in factories owned by Samsung itself.
Apart from this, China Labor Watch had released a report regarding child exploitation in HEG Electronics, a factory that supplies electronic parts not only for Samsung, but also for Motorola and LG. Samsung has already responded to this by conducting an audit of the factory. It also made a commitment to improve the conditions in said factory. The South Korean company, however, claimed that during its investigation, it did not come across child labourers in the factory.
China Labor Watch recommends that Samsung allocate part of its 2011 profits which amounted to $12 to improve the factory conditions.
The working conditions at electronics factories have been getting much attention in recent times. It may be recalled that reports of a similar nature surfaced about Foxconn, which provides parts for Apple, Amazon, and Acer.