Samsung’s factory in China is suspected of illegally employing child labor

Following the storm of Apple and Foxconn's “sweatshop”, another international electronics giant, Samsung, was accused of illegally employing child labor at its foundry in China.

On August 7, US time, the US Labor Rights Protection Organization "China Labor Watch (CLW)" released a report saying that Samsung China's product foundry Haige Guoli Electronics (Huizhou) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Higer Guoli") was suspected Child abuse is a violation of workers’ rights. The organization said it has traveled to Washington to appeal to the committee and the US government to put pressure on Samsung to improve the working environment of workers.

The Haige Guoli Factory, accused of child abuse, is located in Jiaxin Industrial Park, Dongsheng Village, Chenjiang Town, Huicheng District, Huizhou City, Guangdong Province. According to public information, the factory is mainly engaged in SMT (Surface Mount), OEM, etc. It is one of Samsung's important supporting enterprises, providing processing services for mobile phones, DVDs, stereos, MP3, LCD and other products. In 2010, the company achieved a total industrial output value of 860 million yuan, and was approved as a national high-tech enterprise in December of the same year.

A survey titled "Samsung Factory Exploitation of Child Labor - Samsung Supplier Hager Guoli Electronics (Huizhou) Co., Ltd." pointed out that between June and July this year, there were relevant personnel to work in Haig Guoli. Investigations revealed that seven children under the age of 16 were employed in the Hagrid Factory and were responsible for producing mobile phones and DVD players for Samsung. These child laborers face the same harsh working conditions as adults, but pay only 70% of other workers.

Most of the child labor sources come from many vocational and technical colleges including Hunan Far East Vocational and Technical School, Guizhou Tongren Yanhe Vocational School and Chongqing Fuling Information Technology School. Especially during the summer and winter vacations, the proportion of workers from technical schools can be as high as 80%. According to the report, Haige Guoli only signed a labor contract with the school teacher, and did not check the student ID card. It does not rule out the possibility that the school teacher is suspected of forging a student ID card and falsely reporting the age.

The China Labor Watch Organization speculates that the number of child workers may have exceeded 100 in the departments that the organization has not investigated.

Prior to this, China Labor Watch had previously issued a survey accusing Foxconn of Apple's production of iPhone and iPad as a sweatshop, but this allegation was denied by Foxconn. In this report, the agency said that Hagrid's working conditions are far lower than those of Apple suppliers.

According to the report, employees at the Hager Guoli factory are regularly in an ethanol environment, but only a new pair of protective gloves can be used each day. The temperature in the workshop is quite high, and the emergency kits in the staff workshops and dormitory are in short supply. Basically, the factory does not provide medical protection measures.

In addition to child labor, the report also accuses Hagrid of abusing workers. For example, in addition to 8 hours of normal working hours per day, Hagrid’s workers must work overtime for three to five hours a day. Workers work night shifts for up to 11 hours, with only 40 minutes of rest in the middle. If a worker makes a mistake, he will be severely punished, including beatings and standing all day.

“Manage abuse at work, sometimes in the factory building. A little careless, such as slow action, misoperation, or a slower team leader’s instructions, will attract the leadership’s scolding. Workshop staff are sometimes punished. Days, write self-review, and be fined," the report said.

"For the foundry, there are always problems of insufficient labor. The new labor force, especially the '90s', has been reluctant to work in the factory. The factory faces the embarrassing situation of having no orders. For the students of the technical school, they all hope that Early internships, this kind of work is not only for the professional counterparts, but also the remuneration can be subsidized for the family. In the face of the welfare of the same restaurant and factory internship, the students must choose the latter; for the school, the students are contacted On the one hand, the factory internship is a promise to the students, and realizes their promise to guarantee the internship opportunities. On the other hand, the school can obtain considerable commission from the intermediary.” On August 8, Zhang Yi, CEO of Ai Media Consulting, said.

However, for the accusation of "China Labor Watch", Samsung responded that Samsung Electronics had conducted two on-site inspections of Hagrid's working conditions this year, and found no irregularities. In the report, Samsung Electronics will investigate again as soon as possible to ensure that the previous review is comprehensive and take appropriate measures to correct any problems that may exist.

Haig Guoli basically denied the idea of ​​employing child labor. On August 8, when the reporter interviewed by phone in accordance with the contact information provided by Haig Guoli official website, a person named Fufu responded that Haig Guoli was recently intensifying his investigation. According to the current survey by Haige Guoli, the seven “child laborers” mentioned in the report are all over the age of 16 and 3 to 4 of them are still working in the factory. At present, Haige Guoli is asking the corresponding parties to print ID cards in response to the China Labor Watch Organization. For other issues mentioned by the organization, the company will further investigate and improve the problems that exist.

The above-mentioned people surnamed stressed that Samsung is a demanding and responsible enterprise that will not allow Hagrid to employ child labor. This situation does not rule out that the company's resigned personnel have complaints against the company and arbitrarily attack retaliation.

When the reporter contacted the Hunan Loudi Yuandong Vocational and Technical School and the Chongqing Fuling Information Technology School for a telephone interview, the heads of the two schools denied that they had sent child laborers to work. The person in charge of Chongqing Fuling Information Technology School also pointed out that the students sent by the school to the factory internships all took their own documents, and there was no case of teachers forging documents.

On August 8, the reporter sent an inquiry to the China Labor Watch Organization on the above response. They insisted that in the previous conversation, there were employees who claimed to be under 16 years old. These child laborers used fake ID documents or other materials when they entered the factory. ID of the person who meets the age requirements. Li Qiang, head of the China Labor Watch Organization, said that he had called the factory after the investigation, but the factory changed the name and said that the workers only came to the factory.

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