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back to article Samsung faces Brazilian rap: Factory bods work '15hrs without break'

Samsung is being sued for about $110m by the Brazilian government for allegedly forcing employees to work long shifts on its assembly lines without a break. It is claimed the South Korean giant's factory in Manaus, a city in the north of the South American nation, puts workers' health at risk by making them to do repetitive …

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Joke

SamSnore

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Unhappy

I'm wondering

how much of the $110m would reach any workers as compensation, or if it will just be used for some kind of government toy purchase.

On the other hand: someone at Samsung is probably doing a cost/ benefit analysis right now. It might turn out that $110m in fines or some similar sum in bribes is still cheaper than producing with 'first-world-standards' somewhere else.

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Re: I'm wondering

Like always, none of it. It will go in 'the pot', to be used for government junkets. Lots of cash from settlements goes 'in the pot', yet I have never recieved a note from hmrc \ irs saying hey we got 2bn in fines this year so we can refund you X in taxes.

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Re: I'm wondering

Actually at some point it's cheaper to use robots - then it doesn't matter where the devices are assembled.

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Anonymous Coward

It is only getting worse

Stories like this are more the proof of concept that unregulated, "Free market" capitalism economies don't work in terms of human conditions, and never have. It is a neo conservative freetard fantasy, proven with the history of the late 19th century labor conditions.

When no one is looking, or looking over their shoulder, a business will always attempt to gain additional profits, even if said profits come out of the flesh of the workers. The industrial history of 1820 to 1920 proves this and here we go again, treating workers as slaves because it simply makes the businesses more money.

The neocontards come up with pie-in-the-sky excuses, "It's the 21st Century, it can never happen [here]!" and yet, here it is. Again. Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and now Brazil, and Brazil isn't exactly the [under]developed "Third World" country that the neocontards use as excuse to say that "It can't happen here!".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It is only getting worse

I think it is more about prices at the end of the day. If a phone costs £100 to build in the UK and £20 in Brazil then it ain't going to be built in the UK.

Why? simple, a phone of one specification that costs more than a similar phone isn't going to sell.

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Stop

Re: It is only getting worse

Don't blame capitalism. No large scale economy has ever looked after workers rights.

Even the trade unions will start to turn a blind eye once enough money gets involved.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It is only getting worse

I'm not blaming capitalism, I'm blaming "Free market (unregulated) capitalism". We had that over 100 years ago and how did it function for the average worker?

Not well. Not well AT ALL.

But the neocontards keep trumpeting it as their savior, the best thing since the orgasm. 'If only we had an unregulated free market economy!', they constantly write, 'People will live in greatness!'.

Dream on you morons.

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Re: It is only getting worse

Even the most rabid free market economists have exception cases in their philosophies. Reasons why everything should be free, except 'XYZ' where XYZ are the industries they have an interest in seeing hobbled or protected, as the case may be.

The entire concept is a fiction invented to sooth the intellectual egos of 'smart people'. Even the trade units (cash) isn't a free market and when the basis for the entire market is controlled everything attached to it is controlled as well.

Regulation is and always will be necessary (barring a Star Trek future) and only a fool believes differently. If you put people first everything else will follow happily and profitably.

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Re: It is only getting worse.. This is SLAVish Copying and

This is SLAVish Copying and...

SLAVish DRIVING in the continuum of humanity and profits-seeking execs and amoral shareholders.

I wonder, though, will this be a TV News Channel story?:

Will Samsung be sued for slavish copying? Or, fined for Slave-driving. Details at 6....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It is only getting worse

No one is forcing the workers to be there.

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Facepalm

"We take great care to provide a workplace environment that assures the highest industry standards of health, safety, and welfare for our employees across the world."

Is there a website where all these PR depts get these crappy canned statements from?

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Anonymous Coward

No I think Samsung picked that line straight from one of Apples releases. Wonder if they're going to get sued.

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Is there a website where all these PR depts get these crappy canned statements from?

YES

It is called MoreBullShitAndLies.com and it is a PR droids' godsend.

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I bet Apple are drawing up the paperwork already, Samsung copied their managerial methods. "we patented making them work over a sewer so they don't have to leave to use the bathroom".

15 hours, without a break, standing up, thats a bit much. There must be a cost in productivity and \ or quality.

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LPF
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What are you gibbering on about?

This is SAMSUNGS factory, foxconn make things for Apple. so no where near the same. Not so fun now you know your phone is made using slave labour is it!

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Re: What are you gibbering on about?

Anytime an Android Anything is found to be doing something unfavourable, the goal post must be moved back to Apple. For justice.

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Re: What are you gibbering on about?

I figured it was daft enough not to be taken seriously. Yes I am aware this was inhouse and not an odm, although using odm's soes not absolve apple nor did i ever assume samsung / lg etc would be any better than apple, they just hasn't been caught. Until now.

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JDX
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You've got to be doing pretty badly...

...to get in trouble breaking South American employment laws.

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Re: You've got to be doing pretty badly...

"...to get in trouble breaking South American employment laws."

I don't know where You are from, but I'm Brazilian. I can tell You that our employment laws are far from abusive. In fact, there are people that calls them too protective to the employee. I will not discuss if this is accurate or not - but from the top of my head:

1) The standard work journey is of 8 hours, with one break hour in the middle to eat/rest.

2) There are limits to extra hours (2 each day).

3) The week work limit is 44 hours (monday to saturday).

And this is the tip of the iceberg. Mind You, I am not a lawyer.

I can't speak for the rest of Latin America, though.

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Unhappy

Have to wonder if these employees will see any of the $110M or whatever settlement value is reached.

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Wasnt it Coca Cola whose union reps were shot in Columbia

5 of them or so?

I'd be interested to see just how much cheaper treating people like absolute shit makes a phone. I have a hunch not as much as they like us to think. But they can consider themselve luck they dont work for a US company.

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Anonymous Coward

So...

The problems that have Foxconn have had recently and were broadcast everywhere seem to be rather paltry compared to this.

Two Questions and I don't know the answers but it would be nice to get a proper one.

1) Did Samsung promote (indirectly naturaly) those reports? It would sure look good in the courts...

2) Is this a case of Pot, Kettle and Black?

At least it appears on the surface that Apple are trying to get their suppliers to keep to the standards they signed up to but a whole host of other makers including Dell, HP, Cisco and Samsung have been strangely silent? Do they by perchance have something to hide?

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Oooh Brazil!

Brazil, land of fair labour relations, social services and free healthcare for all, equal distribution of income, a worker's paradise. How dare these exploitative third-worldly Koreans come here and exploit our workers with their inhuman working conditions? They are our workers! If anybody is going to exploit them, it should be us. Pay us a massive bribefine, or else.

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Is there a solution?

Sure, rich countries could do something like putting a tariff on "slave" labour produced goods, ostensibly to raise the employment standards for foreign employees but, even if you or I were willing to pay 50% extra for our toys, it wouldn't work. There would be retaliatory tariffs and other side effects, not least of which is that the people we're trying to help would likely end up worse off.

So, an honest question. Is there anything that would materially improve the lot of the people who make our stuff? Simply whining that their lives should be better doesn't work in a world where everyone wants their toys cheap, and the market kills the product which costs a few dollars more than its competitors.

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15 hours without a break? one bod ... 27 days without a break? Looks like their biometric attendance system is off kilter.

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Safe to assume that means 27 days without a day off.

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IT Angle

Race to the bottom.

There are no data processing race conditions for ethical dilemmas.

This is the reason the Conquistadors murdered Aztecs and never brought Human Sacrifice back to Europe. And also the reason the Electronics Industry went to Asia and brought "no poaching" employment agreements and a religious hate for Unions back home.

You have to be a moral monster to race to the bottom time after time to maintain your surprise at the position of the finish line.

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its not just brazil

shock horror some works for 15 hours without a break, in samsung factory,

all you who,are offended by this, should look at the uk care industry,

a lot of people on minimum wage are working 3/4 days on 15 hour shifts often they are not allowed tea/rest breaks. how do i know? my 42 year old daughter worked in a care home for disturbed children, until I got her a decent non slave labour job.

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