Target: Yangkyu Y.K. Kim, CEO and President of Samsung Electronics North America
Goal: Stop employing overseas factories that use child labor and continuously violate labor laws
A recent investigation by China Labor Watch (CLW), an independent, non-profit organization that aims to expose labor violations in China, revealed evidence of worker’s rights violations in a factory that supplies to Samsung. According to CLW, over 1,000 workers at an HTNS Shenzhen Co. factory were subjected to abuses such as “forced overtime, forced labor, subminimum overtime wages, crude personnel management, hiring discrimination, safety training that doesn’t satisfy legal standards, the inability of workers to resign, and heavy use of dispatch labor.” Most alarmingly, however, CLW’s investigation revealed that the factory employed at least three child workers under the age of sixteen.
Children laborers at the Shenzhen factory were discovered to be working overtime hours exceeding 13 hours per day, the same as the factory’s adult workers. Despite this heavy workload, the young girls working at the factory were only being paid 70 percent of the wages paid to their adult counterparts. Furthermore, one of the child laborers, a 14-year-old girl who goes by the alias Wu Xiaofang, claimed that she was denied medical assistance when she was injured accidentally falling down a flight of stairs while at work. She told CLW investigators that the factory denied her sick leave and subtracted nearly a week’s worth of wages from her pay.
Though the CLW report could only officially confirm the existence of three child workers at this particular factory, investigators estimated that anywhere from 50 to 100 child laborers could be currently working at Shenzhen Co. Furthermore, the organization claimed that, “investigators of CLW have discovered child labor in other factories that produce for Samsung as well.”
These discoveries have been brought to light only a matter of weeks after Samsung issued a statement claiming that no child workers were found to be working at this Shenzhen factory during a recent audit.
The deplorable conditions facing all of the workers at the HTNS Shenzen Co. factory are inexcusable. Furthermore, the use of child labor to produce Samsung products is unacceptable. Demand that Samsung stop exploiting child labor and violating worker’s rights in order to make a profit.
Dear CEO and President of Samsung Electronics, North America, Yangkyu Y.K. Kim,
Recent investigations by China Labor Watch have revealed a slew of labor rights violations at an HTNS Shenzhen Co. factory that supplies to Samsung. Among these violations are forced overtime with below-minimum overtime pay as well as subpar safety training and other abuses.
Most deplorable of these offenses, however, is the employment of child laborers. At least three young girls under the age of sixteen were found to be working brutally long hours for less than minimal wages. Reports of the factory failing to meet one child worker’s medical needs were also revealed by China Labor Watch’s investigation.
Abusing factory workers and employing child labor is inexcusable. Therefore, I strongly urge your company, Samsung, to stop ignoring poor working conditions in its supplier’s factories, and immediately stop the exploitation of child labor for profit. Instead, Samsung should strive to improve working conditions by providing adequate pay, proper safety training and enforcing labor standards that restrict child labor.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Robert Scoble via Flickr