Samsung conducted an audit in September 2012, during which it checked 105 Chinese manufacturers that supplied it with products and components. Following the audit, it is imposing certain rules and guidelines meant to improve working conditions there.
Samsung's audit was prompted by reports that certain Chinese companies were using children for labor, which is illegal in China just like everywhere else.
Fortunately for all the 105 suppliers, no instances of child labor were found, despite the abruptness of the audit and how it happened to all companies at once, presumably preventing word from getting around in time to allow for deception.
Some things could still be better though, so Samsung has taken the situation into its own hands.
For one, a new hiring process has been implemented, with zero tolerance to child labor, special guidelines for banning it, and interviews made in person.
Samsung also demanded that all suppliers buy an electronic device capable of detecting fake IDs by the end of the month (November 2012).
Various other irregularities will be resolved, managers will be given more training, hotlines at Samsung subsidiaries will be available for workers to anonymously report inhumane treatment, etc.
A fine/penalty system has been abolished as well, just like hiring discrimination will continue to be prohibited. Hopefully, all of the 105 firms will abide by these rules instead of thinking about them as nothing but “guidelines.”
The last matter settled was that of working hours. Employee overtime will be reduced (this is as a top priority, Samsung says) and all hours beyond legal limits will be gone by the end of 2014.
There were some other points raised in the press release, but they are variations of what we’ve written up to now.