updated 06:27 am EST, Mon November 26, 2012
Samsung to institute independent audits, regular checks of suppliers
Samsung has conducted its own investigation into supplier practices following accusations that some of its suppliers have been guilty of using child labor in China. Samsung's internal audit was conducted over four weeks in September and covered 105 of its Chinese suppliers. While the audit did not uncover the use of child labor, Samsung admits that it found evidence of "inadequate practices at the facilities."
Among the infractions, Samsung noted that some of its suppliers were making employees work excessive overtime hours, management of supplier companies holding copies of labor contracts and the application of systematic fines for lateness or absences. However, face-to-face ID checks did not reveal any evidence that any workers were aged below 18.
The Korean tech giant claims that it is currently reviewing 144 more Chinese suppliers and expects process to be complete by the end of the year. In response to its findings, from 2013, Samsung will institute a regime of independent audits as well as it's the ongoing monitoring of working conditions at 249 of its Chinese suppliers.
Samsung only began its investigations after China Labor Watch believed it had uncovered evidence that an HEG Electronics factory was employing underage workers in contravention of Chinese laws. According to the China Labor Watch report (pdf), the company employed "student laborers" over the summer and winter vacations.