Samsung accused of sexual discrimination at China plant

Samsung accused of sexual discrimination at China plant

Summary: The South Korean firm is facing allegations from a labor rights group that its hiring practices violated Chinese law, after it put up a recruitment poster for female workers without communicable diseases.

TOPICS: Samsung, Legal, China

South Korea's Samsung has come under renewed fire for its labor policies in China, following accusations of illegal discrimination in its hiring practices in its China factories.

Rights group China Labor Watch (CLW) announced on Monday that it had photographed a recruitment poster for new roles at its 6,000-strong plant on August 29, that required applicants "be female and not possess any type of communicable disease".

It claimed those requirements were illegal under Chinese labor and employment law.

CLW pointed out the poster at the Tianjin Samsung Telecom Technology plant violated article 12 of the Labor Law, which states: "Labourers shall not be discriminated against in employment, regardless of their ethnic community, race, sex, or religious belief."

The group added Samsung was also violating article 30 of the Employment Promotion Law, which states: "No employment unit, when recruiting employees, shall refuse to employ a job candidate on the basis that he/she is a carrier of any infectious pathogen".

CLW noted that the plant was managed by Samsung and 90 percent owned by the firm.

"It is impossible that Samsung does not know about the illegal hiring practices at its factory. Thus, we can only conclude that Samsung, in their previous statements, has being lying to the public about the lawful treatment of its workers," the group added.

The news comes just days after the group issued a statement accusing Samsung of "inhumane" treatment of workers, including unpaid work and physical abuse at its plants in China.

Topics: Samsung, Legal, China


Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Where are the people who asked for bans ....

    ... when the story had Apple in the title?
    • Kardashian Kim

      I don't know, but it occurred to me the other day that I'd never seen a Korean company with so many fans in a U.S. blog. I mean, LG doesn't have fans like that. Daewoo doesn't have fans like that. And then some light bulb went on over my head, and I wondered... could it be that Samsung had hired Waggener-Edstrom to do PR for them? So I Googled around...

      Yes. They did. Mystery solved.
      Robert Hahn
    • This is the second contentious issue is a week or two . . .

      . . . a week or so ago, a major news story was the poor working conditions of staff at Samsung factories. Now it is sexist behaviour. Like you asked, where are the people who were up-in-arms when allegations were being made against Apple. If it looks like hypocrisy, smells like hypocrisy and tastes like hypocrisy, then it is hypocrisy!
  • PR All Around

    Seems to me that you folks are just falling for all kinds of PR stunts from both companies we love to love or hate. Everyone has an interest in vilifying their competition. I'm sure that there are just as many violations from Apple as there are from Samsung. It comes with the territory. That's why Apple, Samsung, etc have plants/factories/etc in the East: it's easier to get away with violating human rights in those regions where transparency is a dirty word. The kinds of questions you often have to ask yourself when these kinds of stories break:

    timing? (who stands to benefit the most - is a new iPhone being released atm ;-));

    are we talking about a single factory or a a proven case of several factories? (a manager of a single factory could be a sexist, racist, whatever and get away with can't make the leap of "It is impossible that Samsung does not know about the illegal hiring practices at its factory.";

    is it even true? (how many times have we read, and seen on CNN, a story that was completely fabricated or one that relied on popular misconceptions to twist a relatively simple issue into one that involves conspiracies, etc.)

    I'm sure there are several other logical questions people should be asking themselves but most don't because people want to be entertained; and what entertains more than a juicy bit of gossip?