Samsung enjoys record profits while employing child labor

“While Bloomberg was reporting on Friday that Samsung had reported a record operating profit jumping to 91 percent, I was reading a scathing report titled ‘Samsung Factory Exploiting Child Labor,’ which made me wonder: did Samsung’s huge leap in profits come off the backs of child laborers?” Jack Purcher asks for Patently Apple.

“Members of China Labor Watch (CWL) who were responsible for the report stated that they ‘were stunned by the results of the investigation of HEG Electronics, which showed that the practice of hiring child labor is prevalent in this factory,'” Purhcer reports. “HEG Electronics is an important partner of South Korea’s Samsung, processing such products as mobile phones, DVDs, stereo equipment and MP3s for Samsung.”

Purcher writes, “The report went on to state that CLW’s research indicated that student laborers amount to 80% of the total workforce in the factory. During their follow up investigations, their investigators suspected that there were a large number of child laborers in other departments of the factory, estimating that there may be 50 to 100 children working there. These children were working under the same harsh conditions as adult workers, but were paid only 70% of the wages when compared with the formal employees. Moreover, these child workers were often required to carry-out dangerous tasks that resulted in injury.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: CNET reported that six of the factories in which abuse occurred were directly operated by Samsung.

Slavish, indeed.

As always: Boycott Samsung-branded products.

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Samsung supplier employs child workers, forces excessive hours under harsh conditions in China, group says – August 7, 2012
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Foxconn workers talk about jobs, working conditions assembling iPhones and iPads – May 5, 2012
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Marketplace goes inside Foxconn, posts exclusive look at how an iPad is made (with video) – April 12, 2012
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‘Slacktivism’ groups claim credit for Apple supplier audits over a month after Apple originally announced its plans – February 14, 2012
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    1. Disingenuous Fandroiders have a lot of nerve criticizing Apple to the max when their own “beloved” Samsung is heinously involved with illicit and immoral manufacturing practices. Time for Samsung to get a media, consumer & fan pulverizing pounding!

    1. Also, we’re in a Democrat Administration seeking reelection.

      So, I don’t expect the NYT will press the present administration to raise awareness or detail corrective action.

      No U.S. based Republican profit-taking business in sight either. Easy to understand why they look the other way.

      Present day journalism has denigrated to the point of pimping your ideology and scolding those with an alternative view.

      Irresponsible journalism aside — what about the children?

      1. I agree with the Democrat party comment. But the New York Times didn’t “press the president administration to raise awareness or detail corrective action” when they wrote about Apple either. I certainly agree with the comment about the Republican business. But to be fair, the last thing Apple can be considered is a Republican business. Personally I think the New York times is just doing what it always has done, selling newspapers. But you are correct they do have a bit of a lean to the left. But what part of the media does not?

        1. Thanks for the comments, GM.

          I don’t know or even care where Apple leans politically and my intention was not to imply either way. They make great products for voters of all parties all over the world.

          My overall point was historically in the media if a Republican administration or business was involved — NYT, AP, Wash Post, etc. — would have been all over the story.

          And if the past is any guide, the White House press core would be involved, as well.

          Unless the story is widely reported in the future as it should be, witness the serial failure of modern day journalism.

    1. @BoC. Perhaps an exaggeration, but I take your point. This sort of practice appears to be ingrained into their corporate culture. Even the Samsung CEO was allowed to continue to work after tax evasion and bribery convictions, because.. that’s just good business. “Samsung ethics”, “Samsung honesty” certainly qualify as oxymorons.

      1. We used to joke about Korean contracts and their “side letters”. The side letters negated all the important restrictions of the contract, but of course, were only shown to a select few.

      1. Exactly ! Or that we are only hearing about only a few of Apple issues due to their walled garden, PR, reality distortion fields and moonie iFollowers. Samsung in comparison is relatively less of an abuser as they are ‘open’. .. or garbage to this effect.

  1. Same shit goes for Apple demanding 0.02 micron errors at Foxxconn and them striking because of horrible quality control issues and work conditions and demanding they work on holidays?

  2. Child Labor…..

    In a situation where children must work or go hungry employing children and PAYING them is the right thing to do as long as it not abused.

    Most countries don’t have the welfare and the social programs to feed poor or struggling families like the western world has it. Taking a child’s ability to work and feed themselves is criminal.

    You have to remember I’m not for employing children however is many situations working is the best options for these kids and/or their families to survive. If they can’t work to feed themselves these children will be left to steal, sell their bodies, or end up being abused by families members, or sold into slavery. Working is the best option they have and is far better than the alternatives they are faced with.

    Heck if people would get out and travel the developing world they would see what is the norm for people less fortunate than themselves.

    Also remember child labor laws were made not to protect the child, but to protect the jobs for adults.

    1. That is a very dark view of the world… I’ve seen a bit of that developing world myself and know what you talk about, but still, in many of those instances, children work not because that is the best option, but because their care takers simply enslave them, so that they don’t have to work themselves.

      What annoys me in this whole child labour preaching from the developed world (especially US) is that child labour is perfectly fine at home (see child actors and other child performers), but we climb on to our high horse in an instant when someone mentions 10-year olds sawing together soccer balls in Bangladesh… Much like those Bangladeshi children, child performers more often than not miss out on proper schooling, end up troubled adults (anyone heard of Lindsay Lohan?) and never are given a chance to have proper childhood and adolescence. We may want to be consistent across the board when it comes to child labour; pointing finger at others while doing the same thing is a tad hypocritical, isn’t it?


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  4. If capitalists had their way all non-ruling class children would be working 12 hours a day 7 days a week, for no more than is required to sustain this work schedule.

  5. MDN: As always: Boycott Samsung-branded products.

    Q.E.D. Not a penny of Samsung’s profits came from my wallet, just as not a penny of Microsoft’s bankroll came from my wallet. Both company’s products are 100% IGNORABLE.

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