Feeds

back to article Samsung: Demand for mobes forced 16hr days on factory slaves

Samsung has promised again that it's going to fix the problems at its Chinese suppliers, after it admitted poor conditions for employees following an investigation. It has committed to improving conditions for its manufacturing partners' workers but added that "local [Chinese] laws" meant that most workers in the region had a …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

I wonder who gets paid more Apple workers or Samsung workers?

0
3
Anonymous Coward

I was wondering how many comments there would be before Apple got mentioned

3
1
Silver badge
Meh

What! this story is NOT about Apple?

What is the world coming to.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Well the media seems to focus on them when it's an industry wide problem not just specific to Apple.

Chinese manufacturing is cheaper for a reason.

0
0
Silver badge

Since Samsung make much of the hardware in apple devices, your point is irrelevant anyway.

And it's a proven fact that apple have far higher profit margins. The extra money you give to apple isn't going to the workers, it's going to shareholders.

1
0
Trollface

Who had the patent?

So that's another Apple thing that Samsung are actually just as good at?

2
5
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Hourly labour rate at Foxconn is $2.50. Really does not matter if it is Apple or Samsung.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

You forgot to factor the local economy and the skill level needed to do Assembly.

Not to diminish the people or the work they do, but its very easy to overlook the differences between US and their local economy, and how far $2.50 may go there. Don't forget the skill level required for each job during the Assembly process.

You should not over look the fact that many Americans value their time even less, as a good number gladly wait in line (unpaid) outside stores (Apple, Black Friday, etc.) to spend money they don't have. I say this since a credit card is borrowed money and how many Americans pay off their CC bill each month? Now that is their business how they spend their time and money..I just think you should consider this before blasting a factories labor wages.

3
2
Anonymous Coward

You can't compare pay levels between countries without knowing how much food and housing is there.

In the UK for instance our pay seems high, but then our housing costs a fortune too.

2
0
WTF?

Why is the first post about Apple?

There seems to be something of an obsession with Apple that no one is able to resist making a comment on any topic without it being about Apple.

This story is about Samsung at best failing to properly monitor its subcontractors and possibly being complicit in abusive labour practices. Is that not worthy of comment? Is it that is the expected behaviour of them? Or can everything only be measured in comparison to Apple these days?

7
2
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Why is the first post about Apple?

They're just following the Reg's pet Trollmeisters: trained like Pavlov's dogs to rant about Apple if the words Samsung, Foxconn etc. etc. are used - or even alluded to.

4
6

Re: Why is the first post about Apple?

Because for many people, Samsung is Android. They're making the most money off it, have the most cachet, and thus, any criticism of the chaebol is by extension an attack on Android.

0
1
Bronze badge

Re: Why is the first post about Apple?

Elsewhere it's been dubbed Newton's Fourth Law. It's a version of Godwin's Law. As an El Reg discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Apple approaches 1.

0
0
Silver badge
Devil

Well Maybe Consumers Should...

...vote with their wallets if these stories about Apple and Samsung concern them so much.

But that won't happen, will it?

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Well Maybe Consumers Should...

This is an article about Samsung, Apple isn't even mentioned.

3
2
Silver badge

Re: Well Maybe Consumers Should...

I was referring to stories about Apple and Samsung's labour force in general, you twat.

Learn to read before sticking your oar in...

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Not just China

I work for a company in the UK currently working on SS projects. And SS are bastards. Stupid timescales that force people to work till 3am (or recently all night)whilst away from home for weeks at a time in Korea. Timescales that mean working late nights and weekends in the UK with no respite (ie no days off for days lost, and no overtime). It's not just the production lines - they rule over the developers like this too. My advice - screw them.

The pay may be better in the UK, but the lifestyle isn't.

8
0
Bronze badge

Re: Not just China

Sorry, but if you're asked to work outside your hours, you refuse. Unless you are being suitably compensated.

Scared to lose your job? What about if they demand you have to stand on one leg while you work, or only pee on their approved times? Just going to tolerate it to keep the job? No.

Work elsewhere as soon as feasibly possible. Refuse to work overtime without suitable (agreed) compensation. Threaten to bring in unions or legislation to monitor them. Then see how much quicker your bosses hire more workers, reduces the workload or stops promising the impossible. And if they don't stop? Well, then you *DO NOT* want to work there.

Your health is worth hundred times your salary, or more. If you *want* to stay, to see the project through, get the work done, shoot for promotion, earn some extra money, do so. If you don't, don't. I guarantee you that some of your colleagues are refusing to do the same things as you are *volunteering* to do already and you don't even know about it. If your work contract ties you into that? It's either an unfair contract, or you're an idiot for signing it in the first place.

If you go to a tribunal and show you clocked in and out every day on the time you were supposed to and churned out a reasonable amount of work for that time, not a court in the land won't find for you on grounds of unreasonable working conditions or constructive dismissal. You don't even need to be a union member (I often give the impression that I am, and yet have NEVER been a union member and, similarly, have never taken things like that from an employer).

You can bring out the line about the tough jobs market of today if you like, but seriously - you are CHOOSING to work those hours VOLUNTARILY. Maybe in preference to having to be sacked and go through a tribunal, but you have nobody to blame but yourself.

The beauty about the UK is NOT that there aren't inconsiderate and illegal employers - it's that when there are you have a good chance of winning a valid legal case against them without much problem. That's the difference between a "civilised" country and any other, not that there are a few rogue companies. Like the complaints department of your supplier - it's not what you phone up to complain about, it how they handle your complaint (i.e. with extreme horror in the cases of serious complaints) that makes the difference.

Strap on a pair and stop working into the night without prior, mutual agreement.

5
5
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not just China

Easy for you to say, some of us have children that need things like food and cloathing.

3
5
Facepalm

Re: Not just China

I have a solution....Quit.

Find another job or start your own company so you can make your own hours.

SS is not the cause of your dilemma. Your company most likely bid on the project and gave a timeline or knew the timeline in advance. Your company could have hired additional staff (contract) if they felt it was needed/warranted.

It's truly pathetic when people bitch about their work situations, especially when they have the power to change it.

Stop your whining, or simply quit and let someone else have the position. You are not irreplaceable and the sooner you realize it....the better off your co-workers will be. I know I'm replaceable and thus make sure to do my work to the best of my ability and if a project requires working late to get it done....I stay till its done. Your company does not exist to please you.

Quit your job and you can sleep in all day.

You have a choice. Everyone does.

1
4
Linux

Re: Not just China

That was your choice.

The decisions we make in our lives affect us always.

Take responsibility for your choices/decisions. You can still effect change in your life/job/career if you truly want to.

Best wishes

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not just China

"Easy for you to say, some of us have children that need things like food and cloathing."

Food and clothing, or food and loathing?

Regardless, no matter how shit your employer is, there's other things you can do. I took on a job paying more than £20k a year less than the previous one because it was less unpleasant and demanding. Taking bonus potential into account, I just about halved my pay. But now I work for a somewhat stuffy, patriarchal firm, but one that cares about its employees. There's a lot less disposable income, OTOH I don't overtake milk floats on the way home, and I don't work for the aggressive, lying thieves who seem so common in private equity owned business.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Not just China

" I took on a job paying more than £20k a year less than the previous one"

Just a point, but for a lot of people to do that you would be working for free. Not everyone has this luxury of many well-paid jobs being available to them.

1
1
Pint

Commentards - this isn't about Apple vs. Samsung

"Multinationals are increasingly opting for outsourcing for various reasons. But at Samsung, out of over 200,000 staff worldwide, more than half are manufacturing jobs, which indicates we are very much a manufacturing-driven company and it is where our core strength is," Mok said.

Everybody does it - slave labor is what made the southern US rich in its infancy and continues to make multinationals rich today. Slavery was abolished here and now there are laws in place but the incredibly high demand for slave labor persists. Outsourcing to third world nations where life is cheap is the perfect way to wash your hands of the whole affair and maintain the image of an upstanding corporate citizen.

Honest guv, we had no idea how something that costs $300 to make here in the US only costs $25 in that other country - we thought it was magic!

From the clothes on your back to that PC you're typing this on - All made in 'Santa's Sweatshop".

Just be thankful you weren't born in one of those countries or you likely would be one of those 'elves'.

At least the premium beers I enjoy aren't made in sweatshops.

5
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Commentards - this isn't about Apple vs. Samsung

Interesting, when it's about Apple, well they are EVIL. When it's about Samsung, well everyone is doing it.

4
3
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Re: Commentards - this isn't about Apple vs. Samsung

"Santa's Sweatshop"

You are a man after my own heart Joe, BTW, sorry about that perverse sense of humor module which goes along with the heart module apparently it is a package deal.

Moving on, the difference between Santa and Multinationals is that Santa has never looked back at last year's naughty/nice list, much to the relief of the little ones (no names, you know who you are).

It is an epic philosophical battle between TL;DR and "the devil is in the details". But it's not entertainment because we know who wins. No Popcorn necessary. OTOH, every beer consumed, premium or otherwise, is sacred progress in the liberal advancement of the Human Condition. Drink up.

0
0

Values

Its about values. If people - and in this case lots of people - buy the crap manufactured in China and change it twice a year to 'stay fashionable' (because the rubbish doesn't last more than 6 months anyway) then you can only expect those 'in charge' to give you your desire.

All companies are doing it in every part of life. Great chunks of industry have been sent to China - its cheap energy and slave labour make it an ideal place to turn a massive profit. These companies range from Samsung (and Apple, Nokia, etc etc etc) in mobile phones right up to BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar who all source various components there. A kids toy is 99.9999% likely to have been made there (and equally likely to be broken by boxing day) yet the consumers still consume it and the ruthless gits 'at the top' pocket the profit.

Next time you buy something trawl ebay first - a 30 year old British product is more likely to work for a week than a brand new Chinese one). If you have to buy new try and buy something without 'made in China', if we all started doing this then the gloss would go and the abuse would start to stop... it will be a long process I have no doubt.

3
2
Silver badge

Re: Values

100% in agreement here.

I bought some bits for the old Motor bike that I'm restoring. They didn't last very long. After some detective work, I found that they'd been made in China. Previous batches for my other BSA had been made here and are still going strong. the supplier has not stopped buying cheapo parts from China and gone back to UK suppliers. Sure they cost more but in the long run, they work out cheaper.

You sure get what you pay for here.

The same gose for a a lot of the electrical components that I encounter in my real job. The Chinese ones are shoddy compared to the ones made in the EU. So shoddy infact that more than 2000 electrical outlets are being replaced in case they cause fires.

The sad fact is that for many things we can't avoid buying something that is made in China. It is also true that the quality of the stuff being exported varies enormously so you can't just say 'avoid everything made in China'.

1
0
Bronze badge
Mushroom

100 % here too.

Who in their right minds would imagine that a post WWII Industry could be created without the foresight to understand that "factory slaves" are indeed slaves and that a shameful immoral outcome was unexpected.

Silicon Valley: Allocation of your attention span, no matter how infuriatingly short, is no substitute for thinking.

0
1

A perfect example

This is why these Chinese slave camps must be disbanded. Anyone with a conscience should have second thoughts about buying any goods produced by Foxconn when we get one report after another of inhumane treatment, child labor and deplorable dormatories at this company. When are people going to get real?

0
1
C 7

It's not just China

Unfortunately, abusive employment practices are rampant in many so-called civilized countries too. When I worked retail, 100-hour weeks happened several times per year, with 60 being the norm. Now that I'm in IT, I know many working over 60/week, with occasional 80+ hour weeks, for no additional compensation (salary). While it may be shocking to our European cousins, the US has very little in the way of laws protecting workers from excessive overtime, no mandated vacation, weekends or holidays. More and more, it's becoming the norm for companies here to drive people until they absolutely burn out or, as was the case with one of my coworkers, die. But, the hourly jobs don't pay the bills, so we keep at it.

3
1
Bronze badge

Fault

This stuff isn't Samsung's fault - or Apple's, or Sanyo's, or Sony's... it's the fault of some of the businessmen in China who are in the supply business being greedy, and the Chinese government letting them get away with it.

It's not as if we could overnight switch to getting our cheap stuff manufactured in India, or go back to paying more to keep jobs in Taiwan and South Korea... paying enough to keep jobs in Japan, the U.S., and Europe hardly bears thinking about.

Ultimately, though, since we don't sell much foreigners need to buy, we will have to stop importing oil even, never mind "cheap" foreign manufactured goods.

In the long run, you can't spend money on imports if you don't earn every penny of that money with exports; not even Adam Smith can change that simple fact, even if it's in the economic interests of some businessmen to obfuscate it.

Adam Smith did have some valid and useful insights, though, because mercantilism, in its day, went to excess: money is for spending, not hoarding, and so one wants balanced trade, not one-way exporting only, as was the goal then, any more than we can have one-way importing only, which is what seems to approach the situation now.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Cheap fandroids the new slave labour task masters

That is all!

0
0
Boffin

The issue, as always, is one of the balance of power between labour and capital,

which has changed drastically in favour of the latter these last three decades. That is what Ms Thatcher in the UK and Mr Reagan in the US were all about, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, TINA became the word of the day and a full-scale offensive against organised labour - which continues to this day (look at the on-going attacks on unions in the public sector) - was launched. Those who believe that this is merely a matter of those dastardly Chinese and that things are so much better elsewhere are either deluded themselves or simply attempting to delude others. A comparison of wages in seven major cities each in India and China indicates that wage costs for skilled workers is some two to three times higher in China than in India, which fact would seem to indicate that it is not lower wages, but rather a far better infrastructure which drives outsourcing of manufacturing (rather than call centres, in which other factors apply) to the former rather than the latter. As to getting what one pays for, yes indeed - the Chinese equivalent is 一份钱一份货 : for a penny, [one gets] a penny's worth of merchandise....

Henri

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Samsung labour issues in China.

(which is where the article started)

(anon for a number of reasons farther down in this post)

All things considered, that we had an NGO come along and say "Look here, this is wrong" is a good thing. It is effectively the only way these issues will come to light outside of the society in which they are occurring.

That Samsung has undergone an audit and agreed that something needs to be changed is a good thing, how *far* that change goes is a function of the society in which those events are occurring.

What the external society (that is us "westerners" -- US/CAN/EU/UK etc etc ) sees is what we are permitted to see. Keep in mind that damned few of the folks on this forum likely have seen the inside of one of these factories.

I too find myself overreaching my sanity at work. I DO realize that I need to move, there is no other way. I've done my utmost to continue, but I cannot *teach* 15 years of experience to folks who've started with less than 1 year of experience. I can provide guidance and processes and controls, but I cannot cure simple lack of experience. Given my current position and my insistence on doing the best I can for my customer(s) I have an exit plan that I will invoke when I find that new position. It will involve me tearing my work apart, and documenting it step by step so that someone can pick it up. Much of this is done, but not to the scale or detail that will be required by those coming in behind me.

Here is the issue that drives *both* sides of this equation. Corporations no longer have value based on the integrity, innovation, talents or skills they bring to market. Corporate value is now based entirely on the probability that the corporation will have *better* profits next year. There are no exceptions. Increasing PROFIT is the only driver. No longer are quality, attention to detail, innovation, pride in effort, integrity or honesty in action part of any aspect of corporate value.

Since the driver is now PROFIT and only PROFIT, this runs the corporate attitude toward any aspect of the corporation. This means parts, components, etc are purchased based on the lowest prices period. This drives the need to find "cheap labour". Society, specifically us "westerners", have priced ourselves out of this category, but only because we've accepted the "dream" that is advertised to us on a moment by moment basis, by believing that "credit is cheap", by believing that we absolutely can afford to own a house that costs us 15 years worth of our pay (AND that we can afford to finance that), by believing that we can buy new cars every 5 years, even when those cars can cost a years pay (or more), by believing that we are owed this lifestyle, by believing that those things in the big box stores really can be made cheaper and cheaper without negative affect.

Until and unless humans around the world come to the realization that "cheap credit" and "wealth enhancement" are outright lies, based on raping the future for the present, we will continue to engender these horrible cycles of enslavement, boom and bust, and will have to deal with and accept the fact that in order to make these fantasy lifestyles happen:

a) there will be slaves. Of one sort or another

b) the slaves will be working for the "richest" entities on the planet.

c) that these rich entities will claim they just cannot afford to pay them more.

d) that we as a society will have to participate in this slave labour pool

e) that our children and likely their children will be paying off the debt.

The ONLY thing that is a positive light here is that over the last 400 years, these cycles have gotten a whole hell of a lot faster, and hopefully this economic fantasy will end fairly soon.

Why yes I do have an issue with current global economic policy, why don't you?

0
0
Trollface

Yeah but what about Apple...

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.