Samsung under renewed fire over China labor breaches

Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:35am EST
 

By Miyoung Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung came under renewed criticism from a rights group on Tuesday for illegal work practices at its Chinese suppliers, a day after the South Korean electronics giant admitted excessive overtime and fines for employees in China.

A number of foreign companies have been accused in recent years of improper labor practices in China, seen as a cheap source of labor for their production lines.

New York-based China Labor Watch (CLW) said employees at one of Samsung's suppliers sometimes worked up to 16 hours a day, with only one day's rest a month.

Samsung Electronics Co, the world's largest maker of cell phones and televisions, said on Monday a review of 105 of its Chinese suppliers - involving more than 65,000 employees - found illegal work practices, but said the companies involved would be given two more years to change their ways.

The audit followed allegations by CLW in August that seven children younger than 16 were working in one of Samsung's suppliers in China.

Samsung said the audit had found no evidence of child labor.

It did, however, concede several instances of inadequate practices, such as overtime hours in excess of legal regulations and the imposition of a system of fines for tardiness or absence.

"We have identified the need for initiatives to reduce employee overtime as a top priority, and we are researching and developing measures that will eliminate hours beyond legal limits by the end of 2014," the company said in a statement.   Continued...

 
Samsung's logo is seen on a laptop computer displayed in Seoul July 6, 2012. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won