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Samsung Looking into Child Labor Claims in Chinese Factory
Harsh working conditions exacted by electronics factories over in China isn't anything new, as previous news on Foxconn's punishing working environments can attest to. More recently, another Chinese factory has entered the limelight, albeit for the wrong reasons again. The China Labor Watch purports that seven children, under the age of 16, have been working at the HEG Electronics facility which manufactures phones, stereo equipment, and DVD players for Samsung. The youngest child is 14, based on China Labor Watch's official press release published on 6th August. According to the New York-based group, these child workers had to tolerate the same harsh working conditions as the adults, and they're allegedly paid only 70 percent of the basic wages. These investigations were carried out in June and July.
Samsung's own investigations, however, revealed nothing consequential, although the South Korean firm states that they'll be examining China Labor Watch's claims. A Samsung spokesman added that the company has conducted two onsite inspections on HEG's working conditions this year, but discovered "no irregularities" on those occasions. "A team of inspectors consisting of Samsung personnel from Korea headquarters will be dispatched to Huizhou, China on 9th August, and it will immediately launch an investigation and take appropriate measures to correct any problems that may surface", he said.
China Labor Watch also added that HEG Electronics enforces mandatory overtime of three to five hours each day, on top of the normal eight-hour production line shift. Meal breaks are limited to 30 to 40 minutes. "Based on the results of this CLW investigation of Samsung's supplier factory, it can be determined that working conditions at HEG are well below those general conditions in Apple's supplier factories," attests China Labor Watch.