Samsung, on Dec. 12, said that as a result of media reports on the working conditions of migrant workers in labor supply companies, it conducted an on-site investigation of the companies they work with in Malaysia and the migrant workers hired by these companies.
The reports, from the Guardian, detailed multiple rights violations in its report last month, with workers contracted by labor companies for Panasonic as well as Samsung among those alleging mistreatment, as reported by Natasha Lomas on techcrunch.com.
Claims included workers saying they had their passports illegally confiscated; that they were being deceived about pay level; that they were being made to pay large agency fees to secure jobs; and the working conditions involved long periods of standing without adequate rest and restricted toilet breaks.
Based on this investigation, the company said “we identified one of our labor supply companies to be in violation of the hiring process of migrant workers, and as consequence, we terminated our contract with this company. The remaining labor supply companies are under investigation.”
To correct the problem the company created a new policy, called Samsung Migrant Worker Guidelines “We will be strictly applying and implementing these guidelines across our global operations as well as among our suppliers,” the company said.
“The intent of the guidelines is to eradicate any existing or potential of forced or coercive labor, slave labor or human trafficking of migrant workers either at Samsung or among any of our suppliers.”
Stipulated in the guidelines, both Samsung and its suppliers are required to comply with all local labor laws, Samsung’s Code of Conduct, and Samsung Supplier Code of Conduct, and to eradicate activities that interfere with worker’s rights. Samsung will manage and supervise suppliers and labor supply companies through regular on-site due diligence, monitoring, and training.
Samsung also said, as reported by Lomas, that “this is one of the issues that today’s multinational companies doing business globally face. It requires continuous efforts and must be addressed through cooperation among industry, governments and civil society.”
The company says it will also raise employee awareness of human rights via in-depth training with a focus on case studies for all employees, and by conducting an analysis of human rights risks and their impact.