CNET reports that Samsung is denying allegations, wherein one of its suppliers is employing underage factory workers. China Labor Watch is accusing HTNS Shenzhen Co. (factories responsible for building Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S3) of employing at least three girls under the age of sixteen.
These are not the only crimes China Labor Watch is accusing HTNS Shenzhen of. It also accuses the company of making workers work long overtime hours. One of which worked over 150 hours. China Labor Watch says, “Treated the same as adult workers, these three girls work overtime hours in excess of 13 hours per day and are paid overtime wages below the legal standard.”
Samsung says it had a meeting with China Labor Watch and HTNS Shenzhen, confirming the age of the said worker. Samsung quotes the said worker saying, ““I do not understand why we are having this discussion. I am over 18 years of age.”
According to Samsung, there is no way for HTNS Shenzhen to employ underage workers, since they use electronic scanners that verify the age of the workers.
The group is also accusing the factory of forcing overtime, forcing labour, not paying the minimum overtime wage, crude personnel management, discrimination upon hiring, not complying with safety standards, not allowing resignations, and the heavy use of dispatch labour.
Samsung says in a statement, “Samsung holds itself and its supplier companies to the highest standards and maintains a zero tolerance policy on child labour.
“As part of our pledge against underage employment, we began auditing all sites in China in September, and are implementing new hiring policies to strengthen verification measures. These include in-person interviews of all candidates, the introduction of electronic devices to detect fake IDs, and enhanced training and guidelines for managers and HR personnel.
“We will continuously monitor suppliers in China from 2013 onwards through an independent third-party auditor, the Validated Audit Process of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. Contracts with suppliers who employ underage workers will be terminated.”
Do you think Samsung’s supplier, HTNS Shenzhen, is guilty of child labour? Share your thoughts through a comment below.