In March and May of 2012, Samsung Electronics conducted two separate on-site inspections of working conditions at HEG Electronics manufacturing facility in Huizhou, China. The results of the inspection, along with documents provided by HEG, did not reveal the allegations mentioned in the China Labor Watch report.
Following the recent allegations, Samsung immediately dispatched a team of in-house inspectors from Samsung’s global headquarters in Seoul to the HEG facility in Huizhou. The Samsung inspectors will immediately launch a comprehensive investigation, whose findings will determine the necessary measures to take in correcting any problems and issues that may be uncovered at HEG.
Over the years, Samsung has strived to ensure that the company’s business partners in China, which include manufacturers like HEG, comply with local labor laws and environmental regulations. This, of course, includes prohibiting the employment of minors under 16 years of age.
In order to do so, Samsung established the Board of Compliance for Chinese Business Partners in April 2011. Samsung also joined the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition* (EICC) in October 2007, strictly complying with its code of conduct throughout the years.
Samsung is a top manufacturer of many product types, ranging from components to finished products. Most of these Samsung products are manufactured in-house by Samsung’s own manufacturing network that spans across over 30 international locations. When there is need for additional supply capacity, Samsung does occasionally outsource a very small portion of manufacturing to its business partners.
Samsung is a company that holds itself to the highest standards, when it comes to the working conditions of its employees, and maintains this standard throughout Samsung’s in-house manufacturing facilities.
Companies that largely outsource their production for cost-cutting purposes may face a far higher risk of encountering problems with labor rights, working conditions, and worker safety. In contrast, companies like Samsung, which rely almost entirely on in-house manufacturing, are far less likely to expose itself to such risks.
When Samsung does outsource manufacturing, Samsung strives to ensure that its business partners implement and adhere to labor and environmental standards that are as strict as those at Samsung’s own facilities. Equally important, Samsung abides by the laws and regulations of all countries in which it operates.
* Founded in 2004, the EICC is a coalition of the world’s leading technology companies, which aims to improve the technology industry’s responsibilities in the social, ethical, and environmental realms. A total of 71 companies comprise the EICC, which also include Microsoft, Apple, and Sony.