Electronics to pass fewer orders to China supplier in child labour
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[August 05, 2014]
By Se Young Lee
SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
said it will do 30 percent less business with a parts
supplier after uncovering employment of child workers at
the China-based firm, marking the IT giant's strongest
objection to the illegal practice to date.
In July, Samsung Electronics suspended business with Dongguan
Shinyang Electronics Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kosdaq-listed
Shinyang Engineering Co Ltd, after U.S.-based China Labor Watch said
it found at least five child workers without contracts at the
Guangdong province-based supplier.
Samsung said Chinese authorities found that while Dongguan Shinyang
did not directly employ child workers, a subcontractor had hired
them through a labour dispatch agency.
"Samsung has decided to still take measures against Dongguan
Shinyang to hold the supplier responsible for failing to monitor its
subcontractors, in accordance with Samsung's zero tolerance policy
on child labour," the maker of the popular Galaxy smartphone said on
The move to penalise the China-based maker of mobile phone covers
and parts comes amid growing pressure on Samsung Electronics to
ensure that its Chinese suppliers adhere to local labour laws.
In 2012, the same activist group said seven children younger than 16
were working for one of the South Korean firm's China-based
suppliers. Chinese law forbids hiring workers under 16.
The use of child labour isn't rare in China. Other multinational
tech companies including Apple Inc have been plagued by revelations
Underage workers have previously been discovered at Foxconn, the
supplier for some of the world's biggest tech brands. Foxconn is the
trading name of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry.
The earlier suspension in business was prompted by a report released
earlier in July by China Labor Watch, which said children were
working on the assembly lines at Dongguan Shinyang. In June, an
independent audit by Samsung Electronics had found no child labour
at the supplier.
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"Samsung will continue to further strengthen its monitoring process
of its suppliers to prevent such a case from recurring," Samsung
Electronics said on Tuesday, declining to elaborate.
A third-party firm supplying workers had brought in child labourers
to Dongguan Shinyang around the end of June with forged
identification after Samsung completed its audit, said a Shinyang
Engineering official, adding that there are no child workers at
Dongguan Shinyang now.
"We will ensure that similar incidents do not recur," he said.
The official told Reuters that Dongguan Shinyang will resume
supplying parts to Samsung on Tuesday - less than a month after the
He said the firm had not been notified of Samsung's decision to do
less business with the China unit, and declined to disclose how big
a monetary impact such a cut may have.
(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Ryan Woo)
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