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Samsung to investigate alleged child labor abuse at its Chinese supplier

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Published : 2012-08-08 22:18
Updated : 2012-08-08 22:18

Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday it will inspect a Chinese supplier alleged of exploiting child labor.

New York-based labor rights group China Labor Watch released a 31-page report Tuesday on HEG Electronics Co., a partner of the South Korean electronics behemoth, saying the Chinese firm employs children under the age of 16.

"Samsung Electronics has conducted two separate on-site inspections on HEG's working conditions this year but found no irregularities on those occasions," the company said in an e-mailed statement.

"A team of inspectors consisting of Samsung personnel from Korea headquarters will be dispatched to Huizhou, China, on August 9, and it will immediately launch an investigation and take appropriate measures to correct any problems that may surface."

Samsung Electronics stressed it holds to the highest standards of working conditions, and tries to maintain the same at its facilities and the facilities of its partner companies around the world.

HEG Electronics is based in Huizhou, a city in the southern province of Guangdong.

According to HEG's Web site, the company is also used for processing work by Motorola Inc. and South Korea's LG Electronics Inc.

China Labor Watch estimated that at least 50 children work in the HEG factory and claimed the rights of those children are not properly protected.

The children in the factory were working under the same harsh conditions as adult workers, but were paid only 70 percent of the wages of formal employees, the report claimed.

The workers toil 11 hours per day, including 3-5 hours of forced overtime, and 6 days per week, which translates into 26-28 days per month, it added.

"Their attendance system is defective and unfair, negatively influencing the physical and mental health of the student and child workers," China Labor Watch said in its report.

"Based on the results of this China Labor Watch investigation of Samsung's supplier factory, it can be determined that working conditions at HEG are well below those general conditions in Apple's supplier factories." (Yonhap News)

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