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Samsung says no underage workers found at Chinese factory, vows to fix poor conditions

Activist group China Labor Watch in August accused Samsung (005930) of numerous labor infractions at its supplier’s factory in China. In response to the allegations, Samsung revealed plans to re-inspect the factory in question. After a thorough inspection, the company found no underage works, though it did identify “inadequate management and potentially unsafe practices” in the plant.

“Samsung investigators did not identify any underage workers during the site audit at HEG Electronics in Huizhou, but we identified workers under the age of 18 on site. These workers are over the age of 16 and are student workers or interns, and their presence is legal,” Samsung wrote on its blog. “The audit identified several instances of inadequate management and potentially unsafe practices. A system of fines for lateness or absences was found to be in operation. Instances of overtime beyond local regulations, or over 9 hours per week, were identified. Certain health and safety measures were inadequate, such as a failure to provide access to a medical clinic.”

Samsung has demanded that its supplier immediately improve its working conditions or risk losing the company’s manufacturing contract. Samsung also plans to complete on-site inspections by the end of September in all of its 105 supplier facilities in China.