South Korean tech behemoth Samsung Electronics Tuesday said it will make on-site inspections on all 105 suppliers in China by the end of September as part of efforts to ensure whether the suppliers are complying with applicable labour laws and Samsung's employment right policies.
According to an e-mailed statement, Samsung planned to complete on-site inspections by the end of this month for all 105 suppliers in China who manufacture products only for Samsung.
An inspection team consisting of around 100 Samsung employees will be dispatched from Samsung headquarters in Seoul to China, reported Xinhua.
Samsung also planned to review 144 more suppliers in China, which make products for Samsung and other firms, via documentation by the end of this year to determine if they require any additional on-site inspection.
The pledge came after China Labor Watch, the New York-based labor rights group, alleged earlier last month that HEG Electronics, a Huizhou, Guangdong province-based Samsung supplier, had employed children under the age of 16, violating a labour law.
According to a field audit made last month by Samsung into working conditions at the HEG Electronics facilities, there was no underage worker there. Samsung inspectors identified workers under the age of 18 on site, but they were student workers or interns over the age of 16, whose presence is legal in China.
Earlier last month, authorities in south China's Guangdong province confirmed that they found no labour law violations in the Chinese Samsung supplier.
However, Samsung said that the audit into the HEG Electronics identified several inadequate management and potentially unsafe practices. A system of fines for lateness and absence, which had been banned in China in 2008, was spotted to be in operation at the supplier, Samsung said, adding that it demanded HEG abolish inappropriate and unlawful HR policies.
At HEG, access to first aid material and a medical clinic was inadequate and did not meet local regulations, Samsung said, noting that it demanded HEG establish an on-site medical clinic and provide adequate first aid provisions.
It was confirmed that many HEG employees were found to be exceeding the legal limit of overtime, so Samsung demanded that HEG create compliance plans and systems for observance of court-dictated overtime regulations be put in place.