[Statement] Samsung should apologize for child labor and improve the poor labor condition at China supplier!
- 2012.08.16 (10:10:45)
Samsung should apologize for child labor and improve the poor labor condition at China supplier!
On 7th August, China Labor Watch which has been monitoring labor condition in China recently presented the report which states child labor and human rights violation at China supplier of Samsung, HEG Electronic. The situation of China factory is shocking. The employees work 66-hour a week and receive a wage of 200 thousand won at the factory where they put the logo of Samsung which is a Leading corporate in the world. Also, employees work in the poor labor condition without safety education and measures even though they use chemical agents. Moreover, the investigators of China Labor Watch had identified seven children working who are under the age of 16 and exposed students of vocational school working in the harsh condition as the nominal of internship. China Labor Watch had reported poor facilities and physical violence by managers.
It is well known that employees work in the poor labor condition in China which is called as a world factory although it may not be a case of Samsung supplier. However, child labor is a different case of human rights violation. For example, a 14 years old girl testified that she accidentally fell on the stairs on her way from the dormitory to the factory floor, unable to work afterwards. However, the company not only rejected her request for sick leave but also deducted 6 days from her wages on the pretext of her sick leave. Also, they fired her in July. Moreover, even though the company has made young students work under same harsh conditions as adult workers do, the company does not pay them properly. This situation indicates the substance of Samsung which is the officially sponsor of London Olympic where only 11 enterprises enjoy the honors.
Samsung explains that they have assigned Intertek to monitor the labor condition. However, we have no choice but to ask Samsung that whether the second field investigation through Intertek is a proper investigation. How come the obvious child labor could not be revealed if the investigation is not an alibi which shows Samsung has been monitoring the supplier? Samsung posts a notice on the Internet board that they call agencies to corporate social responsibility such as child labor. However, it was small wonder because Samsung have denied that 56 employees died suffering from an occupational disease in their factory. How can Samsung say with confidence that they have a will to properly monitor the labor condition of China supplier? Also, Samsung has excused that the poor labor condition is not only a Samsung’s problem. According to the standard of EICC where Samsung has joined that from 2007, Samsung’s agency should comply with the prohibition of child labor, compliance with regulation when they hire an apprentice, prohibition of dangerous work to under age of 18, and prohibition of work 60-hour a week. The voluntary join of international standard such as EICC means the promise that they have to comply with the standard in everywhere. Samsung deserves some of the blame as well because they have failed to keep the promise.
Apple has improved the labor condition of China supplier after 18 employees committed a suicide at Foxconn. It is not because that Apple is a good enterprise but they yielded under pressure that international community do not purchase the product which made with death and sacrifice. If Samsung has put energy only into promotion of Olympic and looked on with indifference to labor condition at China supplier, it means that they acknowledge themselves to be a most vicious enterpriser in the world. The place where the president Lee Gun-hee’s family must go is not London but the Huizhou factory where children are working 11 hours a day in the scorching heat.
We request the following:
Firstly, Samsung should apologize for child labor and human rights violations which revealed by this report.
Secondly, Samsung should investigate themselves labor condition in all of suppliers, not assign Intertek to monitor them and improve labor condition to comply with the standard of EICC.
Lastly, Samsung should stop the suppression of labor union in order for the employees to work as human beings, should improve safety measures and acknowledge the responsibility of occupational disease.
1. Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL)
2. Banolim (Supporters for Health and Rights of Semiconductor Laborers)
3. Citizens’ Movement for Environmental Justice
4. Corporate For All
5. Dasan Human Right Center
6. Democratic Legal Studies Association
7. Energy & Climate Policy Institute, Center for Energy Politics
8. GONG-GAM, Korean Public Interest Lawyers’ Group
9. Korean Confederation of Trade Union
10. Korean House for International Solidarity
11. Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights (KLPH)
12. National Association of Professors for Democratic Socitety
13. Network for Glocal Action
14. People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
15. People’s Solidarity for Social Progress
16. Samsung General Labor Union
17. Seoul Human Rights Film Festival
18. Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination (SADD)
19. Solidarity For Peace & Human Rights