Last month, a Chinese labour watchdog pointed the finger at Samsung for employing and abusing underage workers in its factories. Samsung has since conducted an audit and found no evidence of underage workers — but it does have plenty of other problems to worry about.
Samsung’s investigation at the HEG Electronics facility in Huizhou, China, which was the focus of last month’s report, found no evidence of employees under the age of 16. It did uncover plenty of 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds, but they were student workers whose presence was perfectly legal.
Elsewhere, though, the audit did uncover plenty of dubious practices: poor management, a system of fines for lateness and absence, overtime beyond local regulations, and inadequate health and safety measures. Phew.
Perhaps it’s not surprising then that the facility has a staff turnover rate of about 30 per cent per month. As a result, Samsung has “formally notified” HEG that it must improve its working conditions and also plans to carry out on-site inspections of its 105 suppliers in China by the end of September. It’s a move in the right direction. [Samsung via The Verge]