Samsung finds ‘inadequate’ labour practices in Chinese factories

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The South Korean company claims it found no instances of child labour but ‘inadequate practices’ at Chinese suppliers, including excess overtime

Samsung has announced measures to improve working conditions in its supplier factories after an audit found ‘inadequate practices’ at Chinese suppliers.

The changes also follow news that New York based NGO China Labour Watch found that at least one of Samsung’s suppliers was using children under 16.

Samsung claim that over a four-week audit of 105 suppliers in September, it did not find any instances of child labour after reviewing HR records of all workers aged below 18 and conducting face-to-face checks.

However the company still has to review 144 more supplier companies in China, which it expects to complete by the end of this year.

A statement on the company says: “The audit identified several instances of inadequate practices at the facilities, including overtime hours in excess of local regulations, management of supplier companies holding copies of labour contracts, and the imposition of a system of fines for lateness or absences.”

It is now designing and implementing ‘corrective measures’ to address the violations.

A new hiring process, designed to combat child labour, will demand suppliers interview all candidates in person beforehand to verify their identity, and compels suppliers to purchase an electronic device to detect fake Ids by the end of November 2012.

Samsung says it will terminate any contracts will suppliers found to use child labour.

It says the fines/penalties system has been abolished, and has told suppliers to provide adequate safety equipment and safety training. It has recommended all suppliers provide additional training for managers on sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse.

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