Samsung: Massive labour violations at dozens of chinese suppliers

In their yearly CSR report, Samsung continues to report on significant violations of labour rights within dozens of their Chinese suppliers. The report on the South Korean firm was undertaken by external auditors,certified by the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, and reported dozens of violations of labour standards.1

The report covered 100 of Samsung’s 200 factories and included the following violations: 

  • 33 suppliers broke local regulations on insurance
  • 39 paid fixed wages without compensation for overtime
  • 33 used pay cuts as a disciplinary measure
  • 59 suppliers do not provide sufficient protective clothing
  • 48 let minors (aged 16 – 18) handle chemicals.

The Financial Times also reports on the violations of Samsung to provide paid overtime. The article notes that although in many of the Chinese suppliers the contract is based on voluntary overtime by their employees, labour activists have claimed that due to the low wages employees feel bound to work over the statutory hours.2 

According to the Guardian report, more of these factories are being brought to the fore bacause of inadequate controls of emissions related to air and water pollution. Related to this Samsung was invited in April 2014 to take a position on the death of one of its employees, a 23 year old who died in 2007.It is claimed that the death was caused by the increased concentration of chemicals which caused Leukemia. Although Samsung apologised for the incident they accepted no responsibility.3

It is now clear that Samsung has failed in his own promises since November 2012. The group at this time set the goal to prevent illegal labor practices in China. Furthermore, discrimination in hiring employees and infringements relating to the fixing of contracts of employment should be prohibited. But each of these offenses could be detected in a shocking number of suppliers.4 Samsung has assured that it will remain committed to compliance with the statutory provisions at suppliers.1

Read our report on this topic, “New allegations against Samsung: discovered child labor in footwear factory”.

Learn more in our database about the company Samsung and its shareholders.


  1. The Guardian: Samsung finds labor violations at dozens of its Chinese suppliers Available at.: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/01/samsung-working-practice-breaches-chinese-suppliers Last checked on 08.07.2014. [] []
  2. Financial Times. Samsung fails to eliminate Chinese labor violations Available at: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/1915547c-002a-11e4-8aaf-00144feab7de.html # axzz3742dfTsX Last verified on 07.10.2014. []
  3. The Guardian:. Compensate_for_errors Samsung promises to factory workers who Suffered cancer Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/14/samsung-compensate-factory-workers-cancer Last reviewed at 10:07. , 2014. []
  4. Financial Times. Samsung fails to eliminate Chinese labor violations Available at: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/1915547c-002a-11e4-8aaf-00144feab7de.html # axzz3742dfTsX Last verified on 07.10.2014. []
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