Samsung ends contract over labour violations

12 December 2016

Samsung has announced it has terminated a contract with a labour supply company in Malaysia because it was found in violation of hiring practices.

The South Korean firm said it had launched an investigation into a number of companies after a media report alleged migrant workers were being abused in factories making its products.

Samsung did not name the firm with which it terminated its contract, and said the other firms are still under investigation.

Samsung has also issued a new set of guidelines for hiring migrant workers to prevent such incidents happening again. Within the guidelines it is stipulated that both Samsung and its suppliers are required to comply with local labour laws, it said.

It added that the guidelines were created with advice from Business for Social Responsibility, and NGO, and will be strictly applied across global operations and suppliers as of Monday.

“The intent of the guidelines is to eradicate any existing or potential of forced or coercive labour, slave labour or human trafficking of migrant workers either at Samsung or among any of our suppliers,” Samsung said. 

“As a member of the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), we developed these guidelines in accordance with the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct (EICC, v.5.1) standards to protect human rights.”

In November, the Guardian said it had interviewed a number of Nepalese migrants working in factories that made products for Samsung and Panasonic who claimed they were being forced to work up to 14 hours a day without sufficient rest or toilet breaks.

The workers also claimed they had paid recruitment fees of up to £1,000, that their passports had been confiscated and that they had been deceived about the pay they would receive.

At the time both firms said they had launched investigations into the allegations.

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