FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK – Only six weeks after the latest revelation of child labor in Samsung’s supply chain, China Labor Watch (CLW) has again uncovered child workers and student workers employed under exploitative conditions at a Samsung and Lenovo supplier factory called HEG Electronics in Huizhou, Guangdong Province.
As part of an investigation of HEG that took place in July and August this year, CLW obtained a list of more than 10 children (under 16) employed by HEG making Samsung parts, the youngest of whom was 14.
Two years ago, CLW uncovered legal violations at HEG that included child labor, a lack of safety training, excessive overtime, and unpaid overtime wages. In response, Samsung promised to correct child labor and other violations throughout its supply chain. But based on the follow-up probe conducted by CLW in July and August, not only have conditions at HEG failed to improve, they have worsened.
CLW discovered that in addition to the use of child workers, over 100 student workers from Hubei were laboring at HEG without overtime wages or a night shift subsidy. The students were promised by a hiring agency to have their expenses for transportation back to school paid in full, but recently HEG management said it would only pay if students continue working until September 10, despite the students needing to return sooner in order to begin classes.
CLW has contacted a number of student workers directly by phone. Some made Samsung products at HEG while others made Lenovo products. One of those was a 19-year old female college student who told CLW Executive Director Li Qiang that while working on the Samsung production line at HEG, she worked four hours of overtime a day in addition to the normal eight hour workday, but she paid 8.5 RMB ($1.38) per hour for all work even though Chinese law requires overtime pay at 1.5 or 2 times normal wages. She also said that the factory did not want students to leave until September 10, and when many students resigned on August 23, they did not receive their due wages.
CLW shared the evidence of child and student labor at HEG with Samsung last week. Samsung has demanded that the factory pay some students’ wages, but many students have still not received full compensation, including 39 who resigned in July.
CLW’s investigation also revealed discriminatory hiring practices, more than 100 hours of monthly overtime, difficulty obtaining leave or resignation, a lack of safety training, legally insufficient purchase of social insurance, and making workers labor on their feet for long 12 to 13 hour shifts.
This is the fourth case of child labor in a Samsung supplier plant exposed by CLW within the past two years. On July 10 this year, CLW published an investigative report revealing the employment of child workers at a Samsung parts supplier called Shinyang Electronics. In December 2012, CLW uncovered a number of child workers at Samsung supplier HTNS.
This is the second time that CLW has exposed HEG for labor rights infringements in as many years, and it is currently making Samsung and Lenova products. CLW calls on Samsung and Lenovo to correct labor abuses and legal violations at HEG, such as providing sufficient safety training and paying workers according to regulations. CLW also calls on HEG to allow workers to elect a union in the factory that represents workers’ interests.
Full English report here.
Full Chinese report here.
About China Labor Watch:
Founded in 2000, China Labor Watch is an independent not-for-profit organization. For more than a decade, CLW has collaborated with labor organizations and the media to conduct in-depth assessments of factories in China that produce toys, bikes, shoes, furniture, clothing, and electronics for some of the world’s largest brand companies. CLW’s New York office creates reports from these investigations, educates the international community on supply chain labor issues, and pressures corporations to improve conditions for workers.
Program Coordinator, China Labor Watch
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Executive Director, China Labor Watch
Phone: +001 212-244-4049