back to article Samsung accused of using child labor in its own factories

Samsung is facing fresh allegations of employing illegal child workers – this time in its own Chinese factories – a day after the company said that an independent review had cleared one of its main suppliers of similar charges. China Labor Watch has issued a new report on eight factories completely or partially owned by Samsung …

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Meh

Child labour

I've always considered it foolish to apply our laws on whether children can or can not work to other countries.

Many children need to work to help support their families in these countries and despite being paid what we would consider two fifths of f**k all, they are still earning well above average for their country.

The only real issue I can see is with the working conditions, these are often much less than desirable.

Though you wouldn't get people queued around the block to work in these places if there were better alternatives...

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Devil

Re: Child labour

Slightly different cattle of fish.

China is simply (ab)using the old student labor system which kept alive the Soviet block. In that system students either got a small fraction of the money they were supposed to get or did not get any money at all while working 2-3 months a year to fill the labor gaps in agriculture, food processing, etc.

Same story here.

This same story however is "bad news" for all those who have bet their companies future on the "super flexible" supply chain starting there (Apple's Mr Cook is a prime example). If China's supply chain flexibility needs gap filling through the forced drafting of students it is:

1. Not flexible at all. In fact, if the student labor goes away the supply chain will probably collapse (same as it did in the ex-Soviet block agriculture in the 90-es).

2. The quality will deteriorate significantly after a time. Students see the slavery obligations as such and start "sabotaging" "work". I remember what we did 30 years ago - as nobody listened to us we got relatives to pull their connections in H&S, Sanitary control or labor authorities, we acknowledged openly that the quotas were rigged and worked towards like 10% of what we were supposed to do, etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Shut these slave camps down

Vote with your wallet and do not buy any product produced in a Chinese slave shop be it Apple, Acer, Microsucks or any other product. These slave shops have no concern for laws or decent working conditions. It's always about the money.

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Devil

Re: Shut these slave camps down

And what exactly are you going to recommend as an alternative?

If you trace the supply chain down to its origin _EVERY_ technical gadget on our shop shelves starts its life in a slave camp. The sole difference between Samsung and let's say Apple is that it outright owns its slave camps as wholly owned subsidiaries instead of outsourcing the blame baton to the likes of Foxconn.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shut these slave camps down

There is this wild new idea where companies actually pay employees decent wages, have safe working environments and even provide benefits to employees like healthcare and holiday pay. It works well for 90% of the world so there is no reason to think it can't work in China. If not then there are always other countries that can produce the products produced in Chinese Slave Camps.

I'm sure that Tim Cook can get by on a little bit less than $700 MILLION a year in compensation so the SLAVES can get two bowls of rice per day... The same applies to Bill Gates. It's criminal that people are so ignorant as to try and rationalize these Slave Shops. The "haves" want to be sure that the "have nots" never escape abject poverty.

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Trollface

I don't think Apple have patented that.

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone else find it amusing

That the only company that keeps getting investigated like this is Samsung? Almost seems like somebody it directing them there.

And now that the conspiracy theory is out.

I'm also one of the people of the mind of, 'it's a different country, what we consider slave labour they consider a way of life' My nan was working in a factory from the age of 11. Was it slave labour? Maybe, she was probably getting less than half the wages for the same work. But it was her choice, she worked to support her family, and that's what these kids in china are doing.

The forced overtime I agree I'm against, if they want to work that much overtime then they should be able to, but I doubt there are many who would want to work that much OT. The 4-6 people in a room for living conditions I merely shrug at, going by the pic they still have more space than I did while at uni so it can't be that bad.

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Re: Anyone else find it amusing

I suspect most would say that Apple gets more than its share of attention, but that’s not the issue. The issue is about how our nice fancy gadgets get manufactured – you might be sanguine about this type of manufacture, but according to the report, some of the practices flagged are illegal by the standards of the county of origin.

Personally, I don’t care what company is involved, if it’s breaking the law, it’s breaking the law – the 'it's a different country, it’s a different way of life' argument doesn’t wash, particularly as no one is saying that the laws being violated are bad or unjust.

Sadly, I feel it’s far too easy to shrug off practices that we wouldn’t be happy with if they were on our own doorstep. If blood/conflict minerals, essential to the production of so many gadgets, weren’t sourced from ‘far-away lands’, I suspect there would be more of a fuss.

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Big Brother

23456

The Chinese are only doing what WE did (US and UK) not so long ago. They, too, are using child labor/labour just as we did to increase their market penetration. They'll get the same laws we have eventually.

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