For Samsung, this Fall period has not gotten off to a great start, and could in fact damage the entire brand if they don't work to restore customer faith in their products and their overall brand. Just what was behind the cause of the Galaxy Note 7 fires and explosions still remains something of a mystery. Samsung first said that this was due to a rare anode-to-cathode defect found in batteries from Samsung SDI, and that when the device heads back to shelves, this problem would no longer be there. That wasn't the case however, and it's now thought that the tight, narrow construction of the Galaxy Note 7 could have been to blame for these exploding batteries. The International Trade Union Confederation, however, think that it could be down to the way that Samsung has been treating employees.
Over the past couple of years, reports of overworked employees as well as illnesses caused by working in a Samsung facility have been just a couple of the reports that Samsung have been faced with concerning their treatment of employees, but now Samsung is facing more allegations, this time from the ITUC. They've obtained, and subsequently distributed leaked slides from as far back as 2012 that show Samsung looking to limit their employees creating unions and being able to hold Samsung accountable. The below slides are from 2012, but it's said that Samsung have been using this as late as 2014, and as we can see it shows that Samsung isn't too impressed with "troublesome" employees creating a labor union. Management at Samsung were reportedly told to punish union workers and generally make their lives difficult. What does this have to do with the Galaxy Note 7?
The ITUC determines that employees working at Samsung are often overworked and not adequately compensated for it, resulting in "inhumane conditions" being "rife" and that workers are generally on their feet beyond 12 hours a day and put under immense pressure. Whether that pressure come in the form of unattainable targets or even verbal abuse, the ITUC are pointing the finger at Samsung pretty strongly here, and while a stressed and demoralized workforce can of course lead to issues in a final product, it's hard to say exactly what was the cause of the Galaxy Note 7's issues until Samsung themselves come forward with an explanation.