Of course, we kidd (kind of), but it seems that Samsung is being accused of using child labor at the Chinese factories that create their products. The whole timing with this situation is quite interesting considering they're currently in court with Apple battling it out. China Labor Watch, an activist group, has accused the Korean company of multiple labor issues which we'll get into in just a second.
Samsung came out amidst the ruckus and says that they plan to reinspect the factory despite it passing audits in the past. Anyways, the activist group came out with a 31 page report which goes into detail on all of the labor issues at HEG, the factory:
- Underage workers. Insiders claimed to have identified seven workers who were under the age of 16 while working in the packing department. They happened to all come from a technical school where HEG supposedly didn't verify their age by checking their IDs.
- Physical abuse. While not only being yelled at, punished by standing all day, getting fined, and so on, workers are also said to be struck.
- No treatment or compensation for work-related injuries. One female worker who was 14 years old said that after she fell down stairs, HEG didn't help to treat her, refused to give her sick leave, and deducted six days from her pay because of the time she couldn't come to work.
- Excessive overtime which frankly isn't anything new in Chinese factories. Workers are forced to work 11 hours per day, six days per week, while the production line crew is forced to stand the entire time. The night shift crew only gets one meal break during the 11 hour period.
- Report any problems? Get fined. Employees who report any problems such as product defects, were fined $31.70 USD for each occurrence and that raised to $79.40 USD back in March.
- Dangerous conditions. Again, not anything new. Workers are exposed to ethyl alcohol and are only allowed one pair of protective gloves each day. Temperatures are extremely hot and there are no medical supplies in case of a potential emergency.
None of this is good news for Samsung considering they're in court and likely will be for a little while longer. Apple was found to be involved with similar things with Foxconn which have been said to of been fixed. Unfortunately, this kind of stuff is prevalent in Chinese factories and with such cheap labor, it makes sense for tech companies to have their devices created there. Hopefully Samsung resolves this, that is of course if the claims are even valid in the first place.