Underage labor claims push Samsung to investigate Chinese factory

By Rick · 14 replies
Aug 8, 2012
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  1. Although Apple's Foxconn ordeal has managed to escape the spotlight, Samsung may be next in line for a public flogging due to workforce abuse. China Labor Watch is reporting a major Samsung supplier, HEG Electronics, has been employing workers under the legal……

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  2. The story was posted at 7am Beijing time on 9th August, and it says that the team from Korea will be visiting China on 9th August, I.e. the same day. Yet the tone seems to suggest that Samsung is dragging its feet. Am I missing something ?
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    LOL what? Apple's Foxconn ordeal was a huge story on tech sites everywhere. Right? Didn't everyone make fun of the 'fair labor conditions' and everyone is 'jumping' for joy, making light of the suicide nets and all that?
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

    It *was* a big deal, but not anymore, which is what that was supposed to mean. I can see the confusion though.

    The folks at The Verge were criticizing the fact that Samsung chose not to slip in unannounced, but rather made a public announcement giving the factory possibly up to two days to prepare.
    Also, I had originally considered the time difference, but Samsung's statement is intended for a U.S. audience. I don't believe they are referring to August 9 in Beijing time. The original report broke on August 7, Western time.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Ok, because I can remember at least one here making "jumping" jokes about how well Apple's workers were doing at foxconn plants. But there were others joining in on that same general idea.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

    Sadly, me too. :)
  7. This is really a difficult thing to check out unless there will be serious envolvement by organisation and the chinese government (and I highly doubt about their sensitivity in these matters). Otherwise, how an inspector who strolls around in the corridors for a few days (untill this matter is burried) is going to find who's under 16 if their fabricated factory registration says 18? Major companies doesn't care, or even, who says they know what is really happening in the factories they have contracted with? They' re not supposed to. By the priliminary tours to the facilities? Or by the permanent reluctunt stuff they have established there (if there is such)? And the chinese factories doesn't care a lot more. There are armies of penniless workers just behind the corner.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I agree guest above... you can fake a lot of stuff when inspectors come by. Lots of food places pass inspection because they get word an inspector is coming by and they clean up real quick when in reality they are in violation. So now that Apple and Samsung have been scrutinized.. what are the thoughts?

    Everything is bad over there, according to "western" standards. And there are lots of salary vs purchase price comparisons, but I don't think they are really valid. Maybe tech is a lot more expensive even in the places they produce it, but what about other goods? These people that work in the factories live on some amount of money a year, and that is higher than others that live nearby, perhaps comparing their iPad buying potential with someone in the West isn't a fair example?
  9. "The folks at The Verge were criticizing the fact that Samsung chose not to slip in unannounced, but rather made a public announcement giving the factory possibly up to two days to prepare."

    This again is absurd. CLW made a public press release so what is Samsung supposed to do ? Of course they have to respond immediately and publicly. What are they going to say ? Of course that they are investigating and doing so immediately.

    If CLW wanted to stop the practice, they should have given Samsung a heads up and 7 days to do their own investigation before going public.

    Are folks really that blind to the world of PR and self-interest ?
  10. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    So anyone want to explain to me how having so many of your workers commit suicide that you need to install special netting to curb the practice is equivalent to hiring underage workers?

    Since of course we had to start bringing Apple into this, because, you know, now this makes what Apple did ok.

    Let's not focus on the fact that one resulted in many deaths, hey they're both labor code violations.
  11. Neojt

    Neojt TS Addict Posts: 223   +56

    how is it Samsung fault if a Chinese tird party overworkes Chinese employee ????

    Its a good thing to get big compagnies involve in a way cuz they have leverage over these tird parties but why dirty up the Samsung or Apple names over this its not like they say weel give you contracts if you overwork you employees!
  12. Chazz

    Chazz TS Evangelist Posts: 679   +75

    I don't like Apple as much as the next person, but what did Apple do exactly? They outsourced their manufacturing just like almost every other U.S. company out there. It's more of Foxconn that is to blame.
  13. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    Of course, Apple per se did nothing. But look at Nike in the 1990s and using little kids to make shoes. I'm sure they didn't direct the companies they hired to make their shoes to hire kids, but the companies probably did so in order to turn a larger profit. And Nike got the blame and huge PR fallout.

    The problem that a lot of people had with Apple in this instance was that they have by far the largest profit margins per item sold compared to everyone else. Huge.

    And you don't have to be Genius to extrapolate that the reason that Foxconn workers were killing themselves was due to tough working conditions. And I'm pretty sure no matter how you slice it, these working conditions could have been alleviated by investing more money, be it hiring more workers to cut down on working hours, change conditions inside the factory, whatever. So the point was that Apple was making huge profits on their items while the people making their items were killing themselves.

    Of course everyone outsources, but Apple just happens to make larger profits. Apple probably could have Foxconn improve working conditions at the plants (which they can, lets not kid ourselves that Apple has no power there), and still have made huge profit margins. So they became the exemplification of greedy capitalists.

    My main point is that some people should not start bringing up Apple in every conversation, and then complain that Apple gets bashed. We could have just been talking about Samsung, but no, as usual, some people have to start talking about Apple. And in this case it was to somehow equate people killing themselves to hiring of underage workers. Not the same thing by a long shot. So why bring up Apple? And moreover why outright criticize people on this site for not having the same outrage at the hiring of underage workers as they did for people killing themselves?

    Now if Samsung workers were also killing themselves due to intolerable working conditions, and nobody on this site cared, then I suppose the case can be made for bringing up Apple and the hypocrisy. But then I doubt there are many people on this site that really care so much about a material item so much that they feel the need to defend it, or put down competing items every time an opportunity arises.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    This time Apple was directly mentioned in the article. I didn't just pull Apple out of the blue rushing to defend it. Samsung and Apple have been in headlines for months (years) about their similarities. Everything about this screams similarity to Apple. At this time I don't have anything to add to my argument made above. You can't use this 'off topic, but came in touting Apple out of nowhere' defense this time.
  15. ReederOnTheRun

    ReederOnTheRun TS Booster Posts: 304   +62

    Listen to gwailo247, gwailo247 gets it.

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