‘Inhumane' treatment continues at Samsung factories

Excessive working hours and unsafe working conditions remain problematic at Samsung.

In 2012, human rights organization ‘China Labor Watch’ accused Samsung of treating its workers in an “inhumane” fashion. The U.S based group claims child labor was rampant in Samsung’s supplier factories, where student laborers accounted for 80% of the workforce. Workers were also subjected to long work hours and forced overtime.

Since then, Samsung has promised to stamp out poor working conditions by the end of 2014. The latest external audit on Tuesday suggested conditions had not significantly improved across Chinese locations, despite the promise. The tech giant released the findings in its social responsibility report which details its 100 suppliers. The latest issues include a failure to provide safety gear and excessive working hours.

The findings come as no surprise to human rights groups. An audit conducted last year found similar breaches that put workers at risk. As many as 48 minors were at risk from a lack of protective equipment and dangerous usage of chemicals; most suppliers continued to force workers to work overtime without compensation.

Samsung has since called for an immediate end to the abuse and demanded suppliers to work within Chinese workplace jurisdiction. It further asked suppliers to reduce overtime, provide safe equipment and adequate training for workers.

“Samsung Electronics urges all of its suppliers to comply with their established code of conduct, while identifying problems and making improvements through regular monitoring."

The company claims there were no instances of child labor in the latest audit, and that it will continue to work with suppliers to eradicate poor working conditions. With the end of the year rapidly approaching and the promise to regulate over 200 suppliers, one must wonder whether Samsung has bitten off more they can chew.             

Source: Yahoo! | Image via China Labor Watch

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Does this mean Apple innovated slavery working conditions and will sue Samsung for copying! It's not funny what this original and follower greedy Ash.....oles do!

Lets be honest.

Most of us, if not all of us, might feel bad for the workers but tommorow we wont remember and will still buy products from all who abuse these works from LG/Samsung/HTC/Apple/etc....

Yes, I feel sorry for them but we, as consumers, cannot do anything about it? Boycott? Coca-Cola/Pepsi, for example, makes water so some way or another they will get money from us from something we need.

i kinda feel bad having a device made by people who are assembling just so they can live, and im not talking just about samsung

See Chinese are generally hard workers, if they want to do the hard and dirty work and don't mind it, as long as they can get out of it if they feel comfortable, I think it is fine. Is this measured by US standards?

ians18 said,
See Chinese are generally hard workers, if they want to do the hard and dirty work and don't mind it, as long as they can get out of it if they feel comfortable, I think it is fine. Is this measured by US standards?

when i was in the US i made some remark about slacking and some woman got very serious about it and started explaining me how important hard work is

The title say "Samsung Factories". But the issues relate to working conditions at their suppliers according to the article. Nice try.

recursive said,
Welcome to NeoWin! Unprofessional journalism at its best!

Actually, it remove the unprofessional journalism slogan lately...

Now Samsung Galaxy Note 3 = + or - USD730

After regulating by Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 = + or - USD1460

More or less...

In a normal country where laws would mean something, all these factories would be instantly shutdown.

I think most people (including me) wouldn't mind paying an additional fee for their electronics so companies like Samsung and Apple outsource to factories where people aren't treated like animals. Even animals get better treatment. But of course, they're too greedy and desperate to beat the competition with the lowest price...

Nexx295 said,
In a normal country where laws would mean something, all these factories would be instantly shutdown.

I think most people (including me) wouldn't mind paying an additional fee for their electronics so companies like Samsung and Apple outsource to factories where people aren't treated like animals. Even animals get better treatment. But of course, they're too greedy and desperate to beat the competition with the lowest price...

Quite. But we all know if we paid more, they'd just continue exactly as they are and all pocket the additional profits. Consumers can only do so much - the changes need to come from elsewhere.

Chicane-UK said,

Quite. But we all know if we paid more, they'd just continue exactly as they are and all pocket the additional profits. Consumers can only do so much - the changes need to come from elsewhere.

The alternative could be for western countries to impose tariffs on products that are made in countries where minimum employment standards, as defined by the importing country, are not met.

Nexx295 said,
In a normal country where laws would mean something, all these factories would be instantly shutdown.

I think most people (including me) wouldn't mind paying an additional fee for their electronics so companies like Samsung and Apple outsource to factories where people aren't treated like animals. Even animals get better treatment. But of course, they're too greedy and desperate to beat the competition with the lowest price...


I agree with being able to pay a little more for electronics But on the flip side of that, we as consumers in general do put pressure on companies to make lower cost goods. I have always made the case that American companies should make their products in America anyway.

Edited by Gergel7077, Jul 2 2014, 8:25am :

Nexx295 said,

I think most people (including me) wouldn't mind paying an additional fee for their electronics so companies like Samsung and Apple outsource to factories where people aren't treated like animals.

I wouldn't be so sure...

As far as I know the matter of poor (to say the least) working conditions in some Asian and European countries is well known by consumers, as well as it is completely ignored.

I believe that consumers, especially nowadays that money is tight for most of the people, just want cheap products, or better, they are not cheap at all but consumers perceive those prices as reasonable, probably because most of smartphone owners do not buy those products but get them via their carrier paying a monthly fee.

If people cared so much about the wellbeing of others we would see fair trade booming, which is not, most fair trade shops close after a few months in my country (Italy), the same goes for well known brands that keep their manufacturing in their home countries where working conditions, despite not being as stellar as a few decades ago, are still on another dimesion compared to those you can find in Asia or Eastern Europe.

People just take into consideration if they like the product and if they think the price is fair, I don't believe there's much more reasoning involved.

Gabe84 said,

I wouldn't be so sure...

As far as I know the matter of poor (to say the least) working conditions in some Asian and European countries is well known by consumers, as well as it is completely ignored.

I believe that consumers, especially nowadays that money is tight for most of the people, just want cheap products, or better, they are not cheap at all but consumers perceive those prices as reasonable, probably because most of smartphone owners do not buy those products but get them via their carrier paying a monthly fee.

If people cared so much about the wellbeing of others we would see fair trade booming, which is not, most fair trade shops close after a few months in my country (Italy), the same goes for well known brands that keep their manufacturing in their home countries where working conditions, despite not being as stellar as a few decades ago, are still on another dimesion compared to those you can find in Asia or Eastern Europe.

People just take into consideration if they like the product and if they think the price is fair, I don't believe there's much more reasoning involved.


You are absolutely correct. When you consider that Apple charges an 82% markup for its 16GB ipad air, Apple certainly is not passing down it's low cost to produce the iPad to its customers. The consumer is not aware of the working conditions to produce the product, the cost, or if the price they pay is fair relative to cost of production. They really don't care about any of that so long as they are getting what they perceive is a good quality product at a perceived fair price. Everything else is not even an afterthought. Meanwhile Apple's profit is soaring as a result.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...d-air-markup_n_4221356.html

badb0y said,
even your "iphone" is also made by poorest on this planet. They earn few cents per hour.

Sure foxconn doesn't have the best pay in the world and their working conditions are hardly acceptable, but their pay is a lot higher than a ton of the factories in China.

-Razorfold said,

Sure foxconn doesn't have the best pay in the world and their working conditions are hardly acceptable, but their pay is a lot higher than a ton of the factories in China.

Yes, they pay 0.002 cents more. wow!

recursive said,

Yes, they pay 0.002 cents more. wow!

:rolleyes: Average factory worker wage in China is $1.36 an hour, Foxconn average ranges from $1.80 to $2.20.

I already said, their pay and working conditions aren't anything to brag about, and are terrible by Western standards, but it is better than other factories in China. I'm not defending Foxconn, just pointing out that life at other factories are far far worse but we never hear about them.

-Razorfold said,

:rolleyes: Average factory worker wage in China is $1.36 an hour, Foxconn average ranges from $1.80 to $2.20.

I already said, their pay and working conditions aren't anything to brag about, and are terrible by Western standards, but it is better than other factories in China. I'm not defending Foxconn, just pointing out that life at other factories are far far worse but we never hear about them.

Even their factories aren't bad by Western standards - the media keep going on about 'long hours' but they ignore the fact that many (if not all) are migrant workers who need to do those extra hours to earn money not only for themselves but also to help support their family back home so they volunteer. Heck, funny how people ignore the employees complaining when the number of hours they could do was capped - the employer was saying, "no more than x" and the employee was saying, "no, I need more hours". Btw, increasing their pay wouldn't fix the problem because they would work the same hours but get more money - the problem is for the Chinese government to spread the economic growth more evenly so that families aren't as dependent on their kids earning money to support the family.

Personally I started avoiding made in china products mainly because the good old reason of reliability but later down the line, another reason added.. It feels bad to learn about the conditions which are forced upon them..

Even cloths coming from Bangladesh are also soaked in blood.. If electronics comes from slave labor of China, so is the clothing from Bangladesh.. Construction workers of Middle east from India, Pakisthan and Bangladesh..

Story is same everywhere... It's nothing but modern day slave labor..

-Razorfold said,

Sure foxconn doesn't have the best pay in the world and their working conditions are hardly acceptable, but their pay is a lot higher than a ton of the factories in China.

It's only higher because of the bad publicity that they had been receiving because of low pay, child labor violations, no pay for overtime, and high suicide rates. Otherwise, it would have been the same low pay as other China factories.

-Razorfold said,

Sure foxconn doesn't have the best pay in the world and their working conditions are hardly acceptable, but their pay is a lot higher than a ton of the factories in China.

Ok, I'm convinced, because this sounds so well-researched.

Gergel7077 said,

It's only higher because of the bad publicity that they had been receiving because of low pay, child labor violations, no pay for overtime, and high suicide rates. Otherwise, it would have been the same low pay as other China factories.

Nope. They always had higher pay, but the media reports and criticism they got in recent years made them increase it even more.

-Razorfold said,

Nope. They always had higher pay, but the media reports and criticism they got in recent years made them increase it even more.

Negative, Foxconn gave raises to their employees only AFTER the bad publicity happened. Foxconn didn't even pay employees for working overtime, overtime hours that were far above the allowable limit according to labor laws. You would think that if pay were high(er), there would not have been so much scrutiny and the suicide rate would have been significantly less. But that was just not the case.

Gergel7077 said,

Negative, Foxconn gave raises to their employees only AFTER the bad publicity happened. Foxconn didn't even pay employees for working overtime, overtime hours that were far above the allowable limit according to labor laws. You would think that if pay were high(er), there would not have been so much scrutiny and the suicide rate would have been significantly less. But that was just not the case.


Read what I said again.

The wages were always higher than the local minimum wage, which is what the other factories pay. They raised it even more after the media scrutiny to what it currently is. The wages before the raise weren't great either but it was still better than what the other factories offered at that time.

Compared to the other factories, Foxconn does and has always had better working conditions. Now those working conditions aren't great by any meaning but I wasn't talking about that.

-Razorfold said,

Read what I said again.

The wages were always higher than the local minimum wage, which is what the other factories pay. They raised it even more after the media scrutiny to what it currently is. The wages before the raise weren't great either but it was still better than what the other factories offered at that time.

Compared to the other factories, Foxconn does and has always had better working conditions. Now those working conditions aren't great by any meaning but I wasn't talking about that.


Here is why I don't believe that. For one thing, you completely ignored the fact that Foxconn has the highest suicide rate. If employees were truly happy, suicides would not occur in the numbers they do at Foxconn. And please don't try to rationalize suicides to family problems because you can't speak for the victims. For another, why would any company feel they should raise an employees pay if they already pay higher than any other factory in China? Foxconn would completely ignore the media and just say they already pay the highest rates, end of story. That just doesn't make sense.

Gergel7077 said,

Here is why I don't believe that. For one thing, you completely ignored the fact that Foxconn has the highest suicide rate. If employees were truly happy, suicides would not occur in the numbers they do at Foxconn. And please don't try to rationalize suicides to family problems because you can't speak for the victims.

I never said the people were happy, I said they would be worse off if they worked anywhere else. You're forgetting that Foxconn has no problem finding millions of people who want to work there.

The suicide rates well Foxconn is the biggest factory in that region, and the one with the most multinational clients. Obviously they'll be the one who gets reported on the most. You don't think suicides occur at any of the other factories in China? At all? It's like how Walmart constantly gets blamed about low pay and benefits but companies like Target and Kroger that have the exact same pay and the exact ###### benefits get excluded.

Hell Flextronics (another major supplier for Apple and MS but not as big as Foxconn) had a number of suicides in the past few years too. Did any of those get reported to the degree that Foxconn's did? Nope.

For another, why would any company feel they should raise an employees pay if they already pay higher than any other factory in China? Foxconn would completely ignore the media and just say they already pay the highest rates, end of story. That just doesn't make sense.

Because public image matters when you do business with clients around the world? Foxconn got reported in the media alongside Microsoft, Apple, Dell. I highly doubt those companies wanted their names in the papers that way, so they put pressure on Foxconn to improve their pay even more.

----

More broadly, this investigation of ten different Apple factories in China finds that harmful, damaging work environments characterized by illegally long hours for low levels of pay are widespread in Apple's supply, with working conditions frequently worse at suppliers other than Foxconn. We also document for the first time the tremendous problems caused by the use of ‘labor dispatching' by Apple suppliers in China.

6. Low wages compel workers to accept overtime hours well in excess of the legal maximum. Most of the factories we investigated only pay a basic salary equal to the minimum wage stipulated by the local law, which are around USD $200/month in most areas. Because the basic salary is not enough for the workers to live on in the city, they have to work long hours to support themselves.
(when Foxconn got reported in the media they raised their wages by 16-25% to $400 a month)

http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/pdf/2012627-5.pdf

That's my point. I know it's not just Foxconn but then again, I never said it was just Foxconn. Your telling me that most Chinese factories have suicides? What you did was reinforce every single point I made, which is that the Chinese labor force is so badly treated, taken advantage of, and exploited that no matter what they get paid they still commit suicide. Maybe Foxconn gets picked on the most because of their size, but so what? It doesn't absolve them from anything because others in China do the same. Their labor force is still miserable whether they are making more money or not. How does that not reinforce my point that US companies could care less about the Chinese work force that makes their products? So because other factories have suicides also that it's supposed to make me feel better that Foxconn isn't the only one? Is that how you choose to rationalize it? Come on man.

As far as public image, it's been tarnished beyond repair. As a matter of fact, the Foxconn CEO recently stated that the suicide victims had family problems. All of them? I don't think so. In other words he tried to blame the victims rather than take at least some responsibility. He has more egg on his face than ever before. You would think they would commit suicide in a more private way than by jumping off the roofs at the company they work for. Don't you think those people were trying to make a statement in such a graphic way? I think yes.

You mention MS, Apple, Dell, maybe even HP and Amazon too. They are all just as guilty and I hold each one of those American companies accountable for this practice. No one company will ever get a gold star from me.

How does that not reinforce my point that US companies could care less about the Chinese work force that makes their products? So because other factories have suicides also that it's supposed to make me feel better that Foxconn isn't the only one? Is that how you choose to rationalize it? Come on man.

The ###### are you on about? I have stated plenty of times that Foxconn working conditions aren't great, the pay sucks and that I don't defend them.

I'm just POINTING OUT that they aren't the worst offenders and there are factories, that nobody seems to care about, that are far far worse. My first post was in reference to how Foxconn workers are the poorest people in the world. They aren't and THAT is my point.

I wasn't rationalizing anything, you just need to learn how to read better.

As far as public image, it's been tarnished beyond repair. As a matter of fact, the Foxconn CEO recently stated that the suicide victims had family problems. All of them? I don't think so. In other words he tried to blame the victims rather than take at least some responsibility. He has more egg on his face than ever before. You would think they would commit suicide in a more private way than by jumping off the roofs at the company they work for. Don't you think those people were trying to make a statement in such a graphic way? I think yes.

You really think foxconn's image is tarnished lol?

I'm willing to bet that most people couldn't even tell you what Foxconn is or what it does. They continue to make record revenues and profits and they have lines of people waiting to work for them. I highly doubt they're struggling.

Every so often they'll make the news and people will go "damn life in China sucks" and then go back to their lives and forget about it. That's how most things are still made in China, India etc. People just don't care where their product comes from, as long as it's cheap and it works.


-Razorfold said,

You really think foxconn's image is tarnished lol?

I'm willing to bet that most people couldn't even tell you what Foxconn is or what it does. They continue to make record revenues and profits and they have lines of people waiting to work for them. I highly doubt they're struggling.

Every so often they'll make the news and people will go "damn life in China sucks" and then go back to their lives and forget about it. That's how most things are still made in China, India etc. People just don't care where their product comes from, as long as it's cheap and it works.



Absolutely its image is tarnished. We wouldn't be talking about it if it were the happiest place on earth, now would we?
You are right in that Foxconn makes millions off the backs of the Chinese labor force. But I am willing to bet any amount of money that if it were you, your mother\father, sister\brother, son\daughter, you would be crying foul. But, because it's being done to people in another country, eff them, right? See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil....right? If I were to say to you that if anyone in your family were going through that and said to you, hey it's not my problem, sucks to be you, that would make you feel wonderful...right? I could care less if you were miserable as long as you make me the product I paid good money for. To blazes to you and your family.

Does that give you a warm a fuzzy feeling inside? Or would you feel so miserable of your plight that the only way out of it is to end it all? Maybe you just don't give a darn.

Absolutely its image is tarnished. We wouldn't be talking about it if it were the happiest place on earth, now would we?

But we are the minority. The majority of people couldn't care less about it.

That's why I said their image isn't really tarnished all that much. All the companies that Foxconn supplies constantly post profits, and Foxconn itself posts record profits year after year. Once China starts to become more modernized and their laws keep improving (which they do), manufacturing prices will go up..and then companies will just move onto India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines and so on.

I'm sure that a lot of people know that their iPhone or Galaxy or Lumia etc isn't made in some happy fairy tale place. But at the end of the day the only thing they care about is the price tag. It's the same thing with clothes, it's all about price and looks.

Out sourcing makes everything cheap right ??

But how ??

Well its very common, in every out sourced destination, be it voice call, manufacturing, or anything, Forced Over time and Long work hours with less pay..

It's not just Samsung, everyone does it.. Its the reason for which the task is out sourced, since otherwise why would they out source

Choto Cheeta said,
Out sourcing makes everything cheap right ??

But how ??

Well its very common, in every out sourced destination, be it voice call, manufacturing, or anything, Forced Over time and Long work hours with less pay..

It's not just Samsung, everyone does it.. Its the reason for which the task is out sourced, since otherwise why would they out source

That unfortunately has always been the case, people demanding cheaper and cheaper products and they think that magically those cheaper products just magically appear. Pink slime is used in burgers because customers demand cheaper and cheaper products so the next result are restaurants having to reduce their costs so they can reduce the price.

Top bosses will continue to make same profit, share holders will continue to receive even increasing returns and consumers want cheaper product..

Somewhere the sacrifice has to be made right ??

Banks are there to loan you, you are there to work and earn to repay your loan and there you go, you employer is there to exploit you with threats to job loss unless you accept to work in late hours or come down in Sundays and make no demands for pay raise !!!

People are turning into slaves in some short..