Samsung rejects NGO report on worker mistreatment

Last update: 00:56 | 27/11/2017

A non-governmental organization (NGO) report said workers at two factories of Samsung Electronics Vietnam do not have employment contracts and noise there is higher than permitted levels.


An employee at work at a Samsung factory in the northern province of Bac Ninh

IPEN organization of Sweden and the Hanoi-based Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) interviewed 45 Samsung workers who said they were fatigued and dizzy. Besides, miscarriage is prevalent among workers.

Workers have to stand while working in 8-12 hours and do day and night shifts. Pregnant workers have to stand doing their job to avoid possible pay cuts, said the report.

According to the report, half of the interviewees have small kids but live away from them and have their kids taken care of by relatives living elsewhere. In addition, workers suffer from vision problems, runny nose, digestive disorder, joint pain and leg pain.

The report also requests additional investigations into the leakage of chemicals. Workers work in an environment that uses chemicals, but are unaware of chemical risks in the assembly process.

However, Samsung Electronics Vietnam has refuted such claims in the report. The company said CGFED and IPEN did not visit the factories and check its viewpoint, but solely presented the report with unfounded claims.

According to Samsung Electronics Vietnam, all of its employees have employment contracts. The company provides medical checkups for all employees once a year and has a musculoskeletal center. 

Whether workers stand or sit depends on the nature of their work, and their wages do not depend on this. Operations at the factory can have two or three shifts in different stages, but the company ensures sufficient time off for its workers.

Regarding the use of chemicals, Samsung Electronics Vietnam said chemicals were used in some particular stages, but measures were taken to prevent workers from being exposed to chemicals.

According to the company, it is worried that its employees continuously receive inaccurate information regarding the working environment, which can lead to psychological distress. If employees work in a state of insecurity, productivity will decline and defective products will increase, and this production and exports of made-in-Vietnam cell phones will be affected.

Such information can leave a negative impact on the reputation of Samsung Electronics Vietnam and its business operations, the company said in a statement.


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