Samsung will do 30 per cent less business with a Chinese parts maker reportedly caught with underage workers at its factory – despite the supplier’s promises to comply with labour laws in future.
The South Korean chaebol suspended business with Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, a subsidiary of Shinyang Engineering, when US charity China Labor Watch claimed it had found at least five child workers without contracts at the supplier.
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Chinese authorities discovered that Shinyang was not directly responsible for employing the children, finding that a subcontractor had hired them through a labour agency. As a result, Sammy said it would resume business with Shinyang, albeit about a third less than before.
“Samsung has decided to still take measures against Dongguan Shinyang to hold the supplier responsible for failing to monitor its subcontractors, in accordance with Samsung's zero tolerance policy on child labour,” the firm said today in a statement.
“Samsung will continue to further strengthen its monitoring process of its suppliers to prevent such a case from recurring."
Samsung and other international tech firms like Apple have increasingly been held to account for conditions in the factories of their suppliers in Asia. China Labor Watch periodically releases reports detailing its own findings in factories in the country, while the companies themselves now issue annual reports as well.
Underage student workers and child labour are still problems for China, as well as long hours, inadequate pay and punitive systems that discipline workers by docking their pay or stopping them from taking breaks. ®