Samsung China Factory Audits Find No Child Labour

Samsung says factory audits find labour violations, but no under-age workers

Samsung has said an audit of 104 of its suppliers in China has revealed a number of labour violations, including overtime in excess of local laws as well as fines for being late or absent from work, but no evidence of child labour.

The review was prompted by a report from China Labour Watch (CLW) which alleged instances of long working hours and under-age workers at supplier HEG Electronics. CLW said it had found at least seven children aged under 16 working at the factory, but Samsung said it could not find any instance of under-age workers.

Samsung China inspections

The Korean manufacturer said the audits reviewed HR records of all employees aged under 18 and conducted face-to-face ID checks. Samsung has said it will require all suppliers to adopt a new hiring process to address the identified problems. Changes to working hour practices and contract irregularities must be implemented by the end of this year

CLW has also published a second, more damning, report that accuses Samsung suppliers of “illegal and inhumane violations” at eight factories, including more instances of under-age workers, contract violations and lack of worker safety.

Audits at 145 factories are ongoing and Samsung said it had conducted regular checks and announced inspections of all its Chinese factories in October, declaring that except for the overtime issue, the other abuses alleged by CLW were not in line with its knowledge.

CLW has also heavily criticised Samsung’s arch-rival Apple in the past for conditions at its Chinese suppliers, most notably Foxconn. The group interviewed 620 workers at ten factories run by Apple suppliers, including Toyo Precision Appliance, BYD electronic and Quanta Computer, as part of its four-month investigation and found that labour rights violations existed at virtually every factory.

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