Samsung has a working agreement with a certain HEG Electronics (Huizou) Co. Ltd., a Chinese factory that processes DVD drives, MP3 players and Samsung mobile phones.
The reason HEG has become a source of bad publicity for Samsung is that China Labor Watch (CLW) found that the company employed child labor.
CLW reportedly conducted an undercover investigation at the site and uncovered at least 7 workers under the age of 16, which is the minimum in the country.
They are paid 70% of the normal wage and are just a few of the 50-100 underage children that CLW believes to be working at the factory.
“Undercover CLW investigators say they identified seven workers under the age of 16 who were employed in HEG’s packing department,” the CLW says.
“The report states that HEG never checked the workers’ IDs to make sure they were of legal age after they were referred from a local technical school. According to CLW, after HEG discovered that it was employing underage workers, it moved them to an off-campus dormitory to avoid detection.”
Samsung will be performing an investigation in response to these findings, but it also stated that HEC passed a recent audit.
The corporation claims that two separate on-site inspections have, thus far, turned up nothing of the sort.
“Samsung Electronics has conducted two separate on-site inspections on HEG’s working conditions this year but found no irregularities on those occasions,” its statement said.
“Given the report, we will conduct another field survey at the earliest possible time to ensure our previous inspections have been based on full information and to take appropriate measures to correct any problems that may surface. Samsung Electronics is a company held to the highest standards of working conditions and we try to maintain that at our facilities and the facilities of partner companies around the world.”