Samsung Audit Finds No Underage Workers, But Some Serious Problems

Last month a Chinese labor watchdog fingered Samsung for employing, and abusing, underage workers in its factories. Now a Samsung audit has found no evidence of underage workers—but plenty of other problems to worry about.

Investigating the HEG Electronics facility in Huizhou, China, which was the focus of last month's report, Samsung found no evidence of employees under the age of 16. It did, however, uncover plenty aged 16-17—but they were student workers whose presence was perfectly legal.

Elsewhere, though, the audit did uncover plenty of dubious practices: poor management, a system of fines for lateness and absence, overtime beyond local regulations, and inadequate health and safety measures. Phew.

Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that the facility has a high staff turnover rate, at around 30 percent per month. Skeptics among you may suggest that the underage workers, then, have just been moved along in preparation for the audit. And, umm, you may well be correct.

As a result, Samsung has "formally notified" HEG that it must improve its working conditions, and also plans to carry out on-site inspections of its 105 suppliers in China by the end of September. Which, uh, is a start at least. [Samsung via Verge]

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