Samsung is on the heat seat again over their labor practices. This time, the information is coming from an inspections that Samsung themselves had done at 100 of their supplier sites in China. These inspections were done by independent companies, and they came back with some bad news for the Korean company. Samsung is trying to change their image, though, and they’ve released all the details in a 69 page report titled “Global Harmony”.
Of the 100 suppliers that were graded by the independent inspectors, 59 of them did not have adequate safety or monitoring equipment in place. Their systems were out of date or non-existent in some cases. Most of Samsung’s suppliers were not in compliance with China’s overtime laws, either. Half of the factories audited had employees under 18 years of age handling dangerous and hazardous chemicals, and a full one-third of the factories did not provide any kind of social insurance for their workers. 33 of the factories failed at managing their waste disposal properly, which means more hazardous chemical issues. Three of the suppliers exceeded the Chinese environmental limits for dust or noise levels, as well. There were no cases of child-labor, but that doesn’t mean that all is well. Far from it.
These factories aren’t owned and managed directly by Samsung, but the news doesn’t bode well for the company or the Chinese labor market. Samsung has already requested that their suppliers improve working conditions and the benefits that they offer to their workers. At the same time, Samsung has had big issues with accidents and chemically hazardous situations at their own factories.
Samsung commissioned this report themselves, let independent inspectors actually do the inspections, and then released the report even though it contains negative information about them and their suppliers. That’s a step in the right direction. Manufacturers and suppliers have labor issues at their factories all over the world, not just in China. You can find the full report at the source link below. The more information that comes to light about these factories, the more we can do to see that conditions improve.