When did you last buy a new smartphone? According to Bitkom, the majority of Germans own a mobile phone that is less than a year old. Instead of repairing them, smartphones are bought again. This creates problems in relation to labour and human rights as well as for the environment as the ever-growing demand for precious metals leads to environmental disturbances in mining regions, the neglect of labour rights for miners, and resource scarcity. ... →
Research by the US Environmental Protection Agency NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) has shown that the electricity consumption of television sets manufactured by Samsung, LG and Vizio as measured by official energy tests is significantly lower than in everyday operation. The reasons for this are deficits in the official test methods used to test the energy consumption of new TV sets, whose manufacturer-side utilization confers on the devices in test operation a higher energy efficiency than in everyday practice. ... →
For some time now, the South Korean company Samsung has faced worldwide criticism in relation to its lack of safety standards in its factories. In 2007 it became known that many people who worked in Samsung’s chip factories suffered from rare cancers, these cancers were to the use of highly toxic chemicals. Of the more than 230 sufferers, almost one third have died with most of whom were between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. ... →
In 2014 pressure became to great to fight and the South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung finally had to apologise to workers who became terminally ill from cancer in its electronic chip factories. Samsung promised time and compensation payments.
146 workers were suffering from rare cancer and some died.
But today many of the affected workers are still waiting for their compensation. ... →
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.
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.
14 year-old Liu Fuzon was found dead of exhaustion on a factory floor after working twelve hours in a 3CEMS factory in Dongguan. 3CEMS manufactures components for multiple electronic companies including Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sony, and Sharp. It is believed that the factory where the tragedy occurred manufactured parts for Asus. The child, part of a group delivered by a third-party labor provider, was using identification from a legal aged worker; a common practice by many such firms. ... →