Samsung comes down hard on new child labour allegations
The South Korean company Samsung Electronics yesterday suspended business ties with a Chinese supplier that allegedly hired children.
Samsung: Fast move
The world's biggest smartphone maker, said on its blog it had found possible evidence of child labour and illegal hiring at Dongguan Shinyang Electronics.
Last week Samsung had said it would urgently look into the Chinese supplier following a New York-based watchdog's report that it hired at least five children under the age of 16.
China Labor Watch said children as well as minors under 18 worked at Shinyang for three to six months to meet production targets during a period of high demand. The watchdog said the child workers were paid for 10 hours a day but worked 11 hours.
The report detailed 15 labor violations discovered during its undercover investigation. They included child labor, the absence of safety training, no overtime wages and no social insurance for temporary workers, who constituted at least 40 percent of 1,200 employees at the Chinese cellphone parts supplier for Samsung.
China Labor Watch's report came shortly after Samsung said its audit found no child labour at hundreds of Chinese suppliers. Samsung began inspecting its Chinese suppliers after the labor watchdog raised the child labor issue in 2012.
Samsung said Chinese authorities are investigating the case and if the investigation finds child labor, Samsung will permanently stop doing business with Shinyang.
Samsung said it was unfortunate that the allegation surfaced despite Samsung’s efforts to prevent child labour at its suppliers.
“As part of its pledge against child labour, Samsung routinely conducts inspections to monitor its suppliers in China to ensure they follow the commitment, and has provided necessary support.
For Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, Samsung has conducted audits on three occasions since 2013, with the latest one ending on June 25, 2014. No cases of child labor were found during these audits.
In the separate investigation following the CLW allegations, however, Samsung found evidences of illegal hiring that took place on June 29. The Chinese authorities are also looking into the case.
If the investigations conclude that the supplier indeed hired children illegally, Samsung will permanently halt business with the supplier in accordance with its zero tolerance policy on child labour.
Furthermore, Samsung will strengthen its hiring process not only at its production facilities but also at its suppliers to prevent such case from reoccurring.
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Samsung is a South Korean multinational conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It comprises numerous affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsung brand, and is the largest South Korean chaebol.Find out more