By now we all know that a lot of our consumer electronics are manufactured in China. From HTC and Samsung to Apple’s iPhone, it’s just part of the business. And unless you’re living under a rock you are also aware of some of the labor practices in China, you only need to hear the name Foxconn and you know. Now Samsung Electronics has stopped business with one of its Chinese suppliers after it was discovered the supplier had five child workers in its facility. The supplier, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Korea’s Shinyang Engineering Co Ltd, has had three audits on it conducted by Samsung. Samsung says the Chinese authorities are also looking into the matter.
Labour practices at Samsung suppliers have come under scrutiny since 2012, when China Labor Watch said seven children younger than 16 were working for one of the electronics giant’s China-based suppliers.
Chinese labour law forbids hiring workers under 16.
The South Korean firm later said it found no evidence of child labour following those accusations, although acknowledging other problems including overtime hours in excess of regulations.
In November 2012, Samsung established a code of conduct for suppliers in line with standards set by the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. It also asked suppliers to sign a compliance agreement to prevent child labour. Read more at Reuters.com
The issue here is that we will never break away from companies using cheap labor countries to manufacturer consumer electronics. That is unless we want to pay higher prices for our gadgets and other goods. But while the labor is cheap, Samsung is doing the right thing here by refusing to work with a company that crosses the line into child labor. What do you think? Would you be willing to spend more money on gadgets and goods if they were manufactured in a country with stricter labor laws and wage laws? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
Featured image courtesy www.businesskorea.co.kr
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