Samsung accused of using child labor in China

Samsung accused of using child labor in China

Summary: Samsung’s Chinese supplier has been found to be exploiting child labor, according to a U.S. non-governmental organization’s report.

TOPICS: China, Samsung
Screenshot by Liu Jiayi

The New York-based BGO, China Labor Watch, said in its latest report HEG Electronics (Huizhou), an important partner of South Korea's Samsung, could be hiring well over 100 student workers under the age of 16. 

The child workers lived and worked under the same "appalling" conditions as adult workers, but were paid 70 percent of the normal wages, the organization said. They often carried out dangerous tasks that resulted in injuries. In a production department of HEG, undercover investigators identified seven child workers aged under 16. Most of them were students of vocational schools and who were trying to gain some working experience during summer break.

According to the report, child labor proportion could skyrocket to over 80 percent of the whole workforce during the summer and winter breaks. Arrangements were made between school teachers and HEG to get students to work as interns, and the report suspected teachers were forging IDs to get underaged students into the factory.

"It is getting harder for factories to find enough workforce when there are a lot of production orders, but the students in vocational schools happened to be very eager to put more working experience into their resume," said Zhangyi, CEO of iiMedia Research, an Chinese research institute. "As for the schools, sending students out to work during vocations not only fulfilled their promises of providing students with intern opportunities, but also earned the schools a considerable amount of commission fees."

Both HEG and the vocational schools denied the accusation of exploiting child labor in their talks with a local newspaper. Samsung responded it was carrying out a further investigation starting Aug. 9 and would solve any potential problems.

Topics: China, Samsung

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  • Apple and Google

    Remember that Samsung is is a key supplier for Apple's iPad as well as being the main manufacturer of handsets for Google's Android mobile phones.
    Tim Acheson
    • @Tim Acheson

      Are you trying to imply that Apple has something to do with this? I know you hate Apple but this is a really pathetic way to try to connect dots that do not exist.
  • So where are the dumbdroids asking for a ban on products from Samsung??

    So, the company that is to blame for Foxconn employees working on their products being the best paid is evil for paying better .... but Samsung who is employing CHILDREN and paying them 30% of the minimum pay is OK???
  • No child labor found in Samsung supplier: According to chinese gov

    No child labor found in Samsung supplier: officials

    Authorities in south China's Guangdong province said Thursday they found no labor law violations in a Chinese Samsung supplier that had previously been accused of using child labor.

    A workshop of HEG Electronics Co. [file photo]

    A statement on a local official website said the city of Huizhou launched an investigation after China Labor Watch alleged that the city's HEG Electronics Co. had employed children younger than 16.

    The firm supplies phones and other digital products to several companies, including South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co.

    The statement said that of the seven workers named by the New York-based labor rights group, two were adults and five were aged between 16 and 18 -- all above China's legal working age of 16.

    The statement also said the company of 3,100 employees was not found to have imposed excessive work hours or to have withheld workers' wages.

    China Labor Watch released a report on Tuesday accusing the Chinese firm of forcing child laborers to work 11 to 13 hours a day while paying them only 70 percent of the wages received by formal employees.

    Samsung said Thursday that it would send a team of investigators to the factory, adding that two previous checks found no irregularities in the factory's working conditions.
    Hi Hi