Feeds

Samsung to probe claims of underage workers, abuse at supplier

Investigators from S Korean firm arrive in China today

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Samsung has said that it will probe allegations that one of its suppliers employs underage workers. The South Korean company's investigators are slated to arrive in China today.

The New York-based China Labour Watch (CLW) released a report (PDF) earlier this week claiming that in three investigations during June and July, it uncovered evidence of child labour and student labour exploitation at HEG Electronics, a Chinese supplier to Samsung. The group had gone to Washington to call on a Congressional committee and the US government to put pressure on US companies to help fix worker conditions.

The non-profit group said that it found seven kids under 16 working in the same department as its investigators and further probing led them to believe that there were anything from 50 to 100 children working.

"Members of China Labor Watch were stunned by the results of the investigation of HEG Electronics, which showed that the practice of hiring child labor is prevalent at this factory," the CLW's report said.

Samsung said it had never found any sign of children at HEG factories during its own checks, but it would check again.

"Samsung Electronics has conducted two separate on-site inspections on HEG's working conditions this year but found no irregularities on those occasions," it said in a statement.

"A team of inspectors consisting of Samsung personnel from Korea headquarters will be dispatched to Huizhou, China on 9 August, and it will immediately launch an investigation and take appropriate measures to correct any problems that may surface."

CLW said that the children were working "under the same harsh conditions" as adult workers, but were only getting 70 per cent of the pay. The group also saw discrimination at the company based on age and sex and found the employees were forced to work far too much - 11 hours a day, six days a week for 26 to 28 days a month.

"The management are abusive during work, sometimes hitting workers on the factory floor. Any carelessness, such as slow movements, mis-operation, or late completion of team leaders’ orders could provoke the shouting of team leaders at anytime.

"Everyday, employees in the workshops were punished by standing all day long, writing self-criticism, or getting fined," the report said.

As well as supplying gear to Samsung, HEG also does work for Motorola and LG*. ®

Updated to add

* LG has been in touch to say "LG Electronics does not have nor has it ever had any business dealings with HEG Electronics facility in China". China Labour Watch has updated its statement to say:

We have received an e-mail from LG, it said that LG Electronics does not have nor has it ever had any business dealings with HEG Electronics facility in China. They have made a request to HEG that LG’s name be removed from their website and will take legal action if necessary to protect LG's reputation.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.