01.Samsung suspends factory
Samsung has suspended business with a factory in China while it investigates reports that children are being used on the assembly line.
An undercover investigation by China Labor Watch (CLW) allegedly discovered at least three underage girls working a 12-hour night shift at the Dongguan Shinyang Electronics factory in Guangdong province, making mobile phone parts for the world’s largest smartphone maker. In a report released earlier this month, the New York-based NGO said there were other violations in overtime pay and at least two other assembly line workers younger than 16, which is the legal working age in China.
In response to the CLW report, Samsung undertook a preliminary investigation that found “evidences of suspected child labor” at the factory. This is despite three Samsung audits over the past year that did not uncover child labour. The most recent audit concluded on 25 June 2014, and the electronics giant says the evidence of “illegal hiring” it found took place four days later on 29 June.
However, CLW executive director Li Qiang says Samsung’s audits are “ineffective” and designed to “appease investors and do not have any real value for workers".
Samsung has committed to permanently severing ties with the business if investigations confirm it has hired children.