NPR Story
4:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Labor Watchdog: Samsung Supplier Using Child Labor

Electronics giant Samsung is on the defensive for a second time over charges that one of its Chinese suppliers is using child labor.

New York-based China Labor Watch says children working 11 hours a day without overtime and with few benefits are a routine part of the workforce at Shinyang Electronics, a company that makes components for Samsung mobile phones.

China Labor Watch first brought up the issue in 2012, saying that Samsung was turning a blind eye to the use of child labor by its Chinese suppliers. CLW also found “inhumane” working conditions at companies supplying to Samsung.

Samsung vowed to improve conditions for workers at its suppliers, promising to eliminate practices like illegal overtime, and said that it had “zero tolerance” for child labor.

But today’s report of child labor comes just a week after an Samsung review found no child labor at its suppliers. China Labor Watch says it proves Samsung “has put its energy into audits and the production of these reports, but these things are meant to appease investors and don’t have any real value for workers. Samsung’s monitoring system is ineffective and has failed to bring about improvements for workers.”

Samsung says it is “urgently looking into the latest allegations and will take appropriate measures in accordance with our policies to prevent any cases of child labor in our suppliers.”

Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Bloomberg Radio correspondent Bob Moon about the potential business consequences for Samsung of these allegations.

Guest

  • Bob Moon, reporter for Bloomberg Radio.
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