According to CNET, Samsung has denied allegations of child labour in one of its supplier factories. China Labor Watch reported that HTNS Shenzen Co. (factories where Samsung mobile phones such as the Galaxy S3 are built) employed at least three girls under the age of sixteen.
Aside from employing underage workers, China Labor Watch also says that the factory makes them work long overtime hours. One of them worked more than 150 hours. China Labor Watch says, “Treated the same as adult workers, these three girls work overtime hours in excess of 13 hours per day and are paid overtime wages below the legal standard.”
According to Samsung, it met with China Labor Watch and HTNS Shenzhen to confirm whether the said worker was underage or not. Samsung quotes the worker saying, “I do not understand why we are having this discussion. I am over 18 years of age.”
Samsung says the two other workers are also of legal age, since HTNS Shenzhen uses electronic equipment that scans workers IDs verifying if they are underage or not.
The group also claims that the factory forces overtime, forces labour, does not pay the minimum overtime wage, has crude personnel management, discriminates when hiring, doesn’t comply with safety standards, doesn’t allow resignations, and heavily uses dispatch labour.
In a statement, Samsung says, “Samsung holds itself and its supplier companies to the highest standards and maintains a zero tolerance policy on child labour.
“As part of our pledge against underage employment, we began auditing all sites in China in September, and are implementing new hiring policies to strengthen verification measures. These include in-person interviews of all candidates, the introduction of electronic devices to detect fake IDs, and enhanced training and guidelines for managers and HR personnel.
“We will continuously monitor suppliers in China from 2013 onwards through an independent third-party auditor, the Validated Audit Process of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. Contracts with suppliers who employ underage workers will be terminated.”
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