China Labor Watch Advises Samsung on Underage Worker Investigation

In an email follow-up to its recent report on the apparent exploitation of workers at the Samsung Electronics' China-based parts supplier HEG Electronics, watchdog group China Labor Watch (CLW) has offered Samsung some advice on how to effectively conduct its investigation at the Chinese facility.

Earlier, in its 31-page derisive report, CLW had mentioned that HEG has been violating labor laws, by employing children at its production facilities and by forcing its staff to work unreasonably long hours. The report specifically drew attention to the fact that seven children aged below 16 years had been employed as floor workers by HEG; and also that student workers comprised nearly 80 percent of the factory's workforce.

With the CLW report bringing Samsung under the scanner for employing underage workers, the South Korean tech giant was immediately prompted to send its own team of investigators, on August 9, to investigate the production facilities of HEG, which chiefly assembles Samsung's devices.

In its advice to Samsung on underage worker investigation, CLW has asked the company to conduct "interviews and thorough investigations;" as well as to make a comprehensive check and verification of the documents of each of the employees throughout the probe.

In its email to Samsung, CLW said that to uncover the truth about possible underage workers, the investigators should be on the lookout for fake documentation. CLW said that even though it was essential for all workers to have IDs, "the authenticity shall be seriously doubted."