China Labor Watch found seven children below the age of 16 working in the HEG Electronics factory where Samsung DVD players are made.
Samsung has confirmed that it will inspect 250 Chinese factories where its products are built. The company claimed that its own investigations have found no under-aged workers at the facility in question, reports Reuters.
Samsung issued a statement saying: “Samsung has demanded that HEG immediately improve its working conditions… If HEG fails to meet Samsung’s zero tolerance policy on child labour, the contract will be immediately severed.” The original report has since disappeared from some Reuters sites.
Apple has come under fire for working conditions at the factories where its products are built, although Apple supplier Foxconn is said to have been steadily improving the working conditions at three of its Chinese factories.
Factory employees were found to be working beyond 60 hours a week, were not always fairly compensated for overtime, and there were inconsistencies in healthy and safety procedures. The Fair Labor Association claimed Foxconn has now reduced employee working hours to 60 hours a week including overtime.
However, China Labor Watch’s investigations had found that due to Foxconn’s working hour reduction, employees have to complete the equivalent of 66 hours of work within a 60 hour weekly time frame. “As a result, the workers get lower wages, but have to work much harder and they are not satisfied with the current situation,” the group said.