Samsung to review 250 Chinese suppliers for labor violations

SEOUL Mon Sep 3, 2012 6:58pm EDT

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at the company's headquarters in Seoul July 6, 2012. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at the company's headquarters in Seoul July 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Lee Jae-Won

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

Samsung also said its audit into working conditions at an HEG Electronics facility in Huizhou in southern China found no under-aged workers. New York-based China Labor Watch said last month seven children younger than 16 were working in the factory that makes phones and DVD players for Samsung.

But Samsung said the audit identified several instances of inadequate management and potentially unsafe practices such as overtime beyond local regulations, improper safety measures and a system of fines for tardiness or absences.

"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 in a statement.

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.

"If supplier companies are found to be in violation of our policies and corrective actions not taken, Samsung will terminate its contract with those supplier companies," Samsung said.

The move follows allegations earlier this year that Apple Inc'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. That landmark decision could change the way Western companies do business in China.

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Ron Popeski)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
Atom311 wrote:
Poor Apple is upset they got nailed for this so of course they need to pump some more bad publicity for Sammy. Apple is a bad joke gimmick unfortunately that could sell trashbags for $5/each and they’d be sold out every single time. Trends are trends, and fads are fads. Apple’s marketshare is toast, people are getting smarter and want the most out of their device. That’s not available with closed sourced apple products sorry. Not even close, it’s actually highly illegal haha. ‘Think Different’ my arse, a billion iphones and they’re all EXACTLY the same from hardware to software. At least iUsers can change their background now! How awesome. There’s no debate why Apple choses Samsung to make their whole device, Sammy is the best in the business and it shows year after year. Anyone see the ratings of Samsung kitchen appliances? They destroy American products there as well. It’s hilarious.

Sep 03, 2012 11:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Yamayoko wrote:
Labor rights and benefits simply don’t apply to child workers. Chinese talented youth artists are forced to paint Monalisa just to be fed. These big name giants profiteer on every cost-cutting edge and turn a blind eye on morality until they’re whipped. Worse still, these labor violations are assisted by local government’s inaction.

Sep 03, 2012 12:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.