Feeds

Samsung admits its Chinese supply chain STILL has labour-rights and safety problems

Another yearly audit, another catalogue of labour abuses

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Samsung has admitted that its Chinese suppliers are still guilty of legal and safety violations, despite its repeated promises to clean up its factories.

In its annual sustainability report, the firm said that this year’s audits had found a number of instances of poor working conditions for people at 100 of its suppliers.

The company didn’t find any child labourers at its factories, but it did find that minors were working with chemical handling processes at 48 of its suppliers.

Samsung also said that the majority of its suppliers don’t comply with China’s legally permitted overtime hours and 33 of them used pay cuts or fines as a system of disciplinary action.

As well as labour violations, the factories also had problems with safety measures. Over half of the suppliers failed to provide safety goggles and other personal protective gear to staff, while some suppliers didn’t have appropriate exits, or provide heat or smoke detectors to protect workers in the event of a fire. A third of the monitored companies were failing to keep a good eye on sewage and waste and another third were failing to fully control air pollutants.

The firm said that it had responded to every violation by telling the supplier it would have to change its ways.

“The suppliers pledged to make improvements and submit improvement plans to prevent the recurrence of such problems,” the report said.

Samsung also said it was “vigorously involved” in activities with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, which is committed to improving responsibility in global supply chains for the sector.

The firm is planning to introduce an integrated inspection checklist and a supplier compliance management code of conduct manual this year to help it get closer to eliminating violations.

“Samsung Electronics urges all of its suppliers to comply with their established code of conduct, while identifying problems and making improvements through regular monitoring,” the report said.

Like many other tech firms, Sammy is constantly vowing to eradicate bad working conditions in its supply factories, as organisations like China Labour Watch have worked to expose the incredibly difficult and often dangerous lives of factory workers.

Tech firms like Sammy and Apple go in for the kind of liberal aspirational branding and reputation that doesn’t sit particularly well with the exploitation of workers in China, and most of the named and shamed companies have started doing yearly audits to indicate that they’re at least trying to improve their workers’ lot.

However, although child worker numbers have shown some improvement, they face a huge problem trying to change illegal overtime hours. Factories frequently pay their employees so little that they sign up to work the arduously long hours, making it more difficult to stop since the factories would actually have to pay them more to put an end to it. ®

Update

Since publication of this article, Samsung has been in touch to say:

We have adopted a multi-year, multifaceted supplier management plan since 2012 to address the findings of internal and independent audits of Samsung supplier companies in China.

We have made significant progress ... We will continue to strive toward full supplier compliance with our policies ... If any suppliers are found to have not made progress, Samsung will constantly call for corrective actions.

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.