Investigative report of Samkwang Science & Technology Co., Ltd.

Primary ethical and legal violations at Samkwang

  • The factory does not pay workers at least $84,000 in overtime pay every month, more than $1 million per year unpaid wages.
  • Hiring discrimination against men, people over 39 years of age, long or colored hair, ethnic minorities, and pregnant women. These restrictions violate Chinese law.
  • The majority of workers are dispatch workers, far in excess of the 10 percent limit currently being formulated by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
  • Workers are charged fees by dispatch companies to be hired by Samkwang.
  • Two-hour pre-work training is perfunctory and far short of the 24-hour legal minimum required for each worker.
  • Workers do not receive a copy of pre-work physical exam; no physical exam after resigning to check for harmful effects of work.
  • Workers required to fill in contracts according to a template provided by the factory.
  • The factory does not provide maternity insurance as required by law.
  • Workers do anywhere from 86 to 148 hours of monthly overtime, two to four times in excess of the 36-hour statutory limit.
  • Workers must work at an intense rate for 10 to 11 hours per day, assembling one Samsung cell phone case every four seconds.
  • Regular verbal abuse of workers by factory management, including forcing workers to write self-criticisms, humiliating workers, and using insulting language.
  • Overcrowded and poorly maintained dormitories with eight to 10 people per room.
  • Lack of effective grievance channels. There no worker representatives, uneon, or worker hotline.
  • Underage workers (from 16 to 18 years old) and student workers complete the same work and working hours as adults. Student workers’ schools take students’ wages and only return a few hundred RMB in pocket money.
  • Many workers are required to work barefoot for the entire shift, including when in production facilities with cold floors and dirty restrooms.
  • The factory conditions are so unacceptable to workers that on some production lines at Samkwang, up to 10 additional workers are kept as reserves to replace workers who quit during the middle of the day.
  • Lack of safety training despite working with hazardous chemicals every day.
  • Machines and fire extinguishers are not properly inspected.
  • Narrow stairwells to and from production facilities are a safety hazard, and there are no fire safety exits or emergency instructions in some production facilities.
  • The factory punishes workers with fines, a violation of the Chinese State Council’s “Regulations on Labor Security Supervision”.
  • It is so difficult to resign formally that most workers will simply leave without receiving due wages.
  • Factory cafeteria and facilities unsanitary and not well maintained.
  • Lack of environmental protection. The factory does divide its waste by type, waste water is discharged into a nearby ditch, and pungent smoke is expelled from the painting department.
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