Supplier for Samsung and Lenovo Accused of Using Child Labor

Thursday, August 28, 2014

China Labor Watch said it had found more than 10 children working at the factory of a China-based supplier for the technology giants Samsung Electronics and the Lenovo Group in an investigation in July and August.

The group, based in New York, also said its investigation had found more than 100 student workers who were not being paid overtime wages or a subsidy for working at night.

The supplier, HEG Technology, denied the accusations, and Samsung said it had found no children or students working on the Samsung production line at the factory, in Huizhou. A Lenovo spokeswoman said the company would look into the report.
In a statement, China Labor Watch said it shared evidence with Samsung last week and that Samsung had demanded that the supplier pay some students’ wages. But it did not say whether Samsung had acted on the matter of child labor or whether it had provided the information to Lenovo.
In response, Samsung said it had proposed to China Labor Watch that they conduct a joint investigation “for more precise verification” of the accusations. Samsung also said it had informed the watchdog about its own investigation, adding, “We find it regrettable that CLW issued the allegations today without any mention of our statement.”
HEG Technology said the company had never hired children, and that it had facial recognition systems to ensure workers were not under age.
This is the second time in two months that China Labor Watch has said it found children working at Samsung’s Chinese suppliers. Samsung halted business with one supplier and later reinstated it, but with a 30 percent reduction in orders.
Child workers have been discovered at Foxconn, the supplier for some of the world’s biggest tech brands, including Apple. Foxconn is the trading name of Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry. Other multinational companies in textiles, toys and other industries have been plagued by revelations of under-age workers in their supply chains, too.