Saturday, September 22, 2012

Samsung child labor exposed

Dear Friends:

My name is Li Qiang and I lead a group called China Labor Watch that investigates and exposes worker exploitation. As a rights lawyer committed to knowing every detail of China's labor laws -- and how they're ignored and broken -- I was shocked when I learned what's happening in the Chinese factories supplying electronic giant Samsung.

Children as young as 14 years old work 11 hour night shifts, 28 days a month and are denied medical care and even pay.

The exploitation of workers at Samsung's supplier factories must stop now -- and I'm confident that if enough people speak out, the tech giant will be forced to respond just like Apple had to earlier this year.

I started a petition on calling on Samsung to end worker abuse in the factories making its products. Click here to sign my petition now.

When 14-year-old Xiaofang (an alias, for her protection) got hurt after she fell down a flight of stairs at the factory, the owners and managers wouldn't even let her see a doctor. They wouldn't give her sick leave to recover and docked 6 days of her pay. Then, she was fired without any compensation.

Our investigators heard dozens of similar accounts from employees at the factory -- even workers being hit by managers or forced to stand all day as punishment for a mistake. In addition to laboring in dangerous conditions every day, we discovered that children like Xiaofang working in this Chinese factory are paid only 70% of what adults are paid.The factory owners know it, but create fake IDs for the children and exploit them with lower pay and part-time hours so the authorities won't find out.

A few months ago, I saw the tremendous impact that a petition on had when it called for Apple to improve conditions in a supplier's factory. More than 250,000 people signed that petition, started by an Apple customer in Washington, DC. It was also covered by worldwide news media extensively. And in the end, Apple listened. When we found out about the horrific working conditions at Samsung's supplier factory, I knew we had to start a petition on right away.

I'm confident we can make a difference in the lives of these workers and in the way Samsung's products are made. Please click here and sign my petition calling on Samsung to stop labor abuse in factories making its products now.

Thank you.

- Li Qiang
Executive Director, China Labor Watch

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