For years Apple has been the center of rumors suggesting unfair labor practices when it comes to its manufacturing partners oversees (ahem, Foxconn). Now, a report floating around is suggesting that Samsung supplier, HEG Electronics, is exploiting children by employing them as underage workers. China Labor Watch, a human rights group based in New York, claims to have uncovered seven factory workers under 16, which sadly, included a girl who had no official identification but said she was 14. These findings were discovered after a preliminary investigation was launched.
It’s said that HEG Electronics could have 50 and 100 underage workers in the 2,000-person factory. Who does this all come down on, you ask? Well, Samsung of course. The Korean based manufacturer is HEG’s primary partner, this from a small list which includes Motorola and LG. As expected, Samsung has shot down all accusations of it knowing what was happening in its suppliers’ factory. The maker of the Galaxy S III told Bloomberg that it “conducted two separate on-site inspections on HEG’s working conditions this year but found no irregularities on those occasions…“.
I don’t think Samsung wants to follow Apple in this aspect, because if it Sammy learned anything from Apple’s experience, then it would want to avoid this bad publicity by any means necessary. Samsung may have to send its top guy out to HEG’s factory to show the media that it cares, similar to what Apple did when CEO Tim Cook took to China, visiting Foxconn among other places. No company should want to be associated with what resembles slave-like labor, especially when it takes advantage of regular adult workers and underage kids. Seriously, it’s not a good look.