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Samsung and Panasonic Accused Over Supply Chain Labour Abuses in Malaysia (theguardian.com) 50

Samsung and Panasonic, two of the world's leading electronics brands, are facing allegations that workers in their supply chains are being duped, exploited and underpaid in Malaysia. From a report on The Guardian: The two companies have launched investigations into allegations of abuse made by Nepalese workers after a Guardian investigation raised multiple concerns about their treatment. The men said they had been deceived about pay, had their passports confiscated and had been told that they must pay large fines if they wanted to return to Nepal before the end of their contract. They also claimed they were forced to work for up to 14 hours on their feet without adequate rest, and with restricted toilet breaks, in an attempt to settle recruitment fees of up to pound 1,000 -- they said they had to pay this money to secure their jobs. They said they felt "cheated" and trapped in their factory jobs making or assembling components for household electrical goods sold on the global market. "My heart is aching," said one young man who works in a factory making Samsung microwaves. "I was not given the job I was promised. I am doing very difficult work. I haven't got the salary they said I would get."
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Samsung and Panasonic Accused Over Supply Chain Labour Abuses in Malaysia

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  • This is news? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2016 @03:51PM (#53334311)

    Samsung and Panasonic, two of the world's leading electronics brands, are facing allegations that workers in their supply chains are being duped, exploited and underpaid in Malaysia.

    This is the *ONLY* reason you build a factory in Malaysia.

  • As the crown passes from Microsoft to Apple and now to Samsung for biggest computer company, so does the number of "scandal stories". Can't make it to the top without a pile of bodies to climb upon.

  • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Monday November 21, 2016 @04:05PM (#53334451)
    Have a third party 'recruit' in poor areas with the promise of a highly skilled job. Transport to another country where you are at a disadvantage everywhere, take the passport, and give a menial, low-paying job with no means to easily contact family or repay your 'transport' debt.

    Welcome to 21st century slavery.

    http://www.vice.com/video/the-... [vice.com]

    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

      Your description sounds a lot like the H-1B program, except H-1B workers get paid a little more.

      In both cases, if you don't like your job, you're kind of screwed. Knowing that gives employers all the more incentive to exploit their workers.

  • Seriously though .... I'm not especially well versed in the details of Malaysian government, but it seems they're a Constitutional Monarchy.

    As an American citizen, I've never felt that comfortable with a monarchy or any kind of dictatorship securing the rights and freedoms of individuals. At best, a "benevolent dictatorship" is just a temporarily condition, happened upon by the citizens as "pure luck". A monarchy where the appointed king or queen follows a constitution is better, assuming a well written co

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Seriously though .... I'm not especially well versed in the details of Malaysian government, but it seems they're a Constitutional Monarchy.

      As an American citizen, I've never felt that comfortable with a monarchy or any kind of dictatorship securing the rights and freedoms of individuals. At best, a "benevolent dictatorship" is just a temporarily condition, happened upon by the citizens as "pure luck". A monarchy where the appointed king or queen follows a constitution is better, assuming a well written con

  • Before anyone rants about how this is an example of how free markets stink, let us be reminded that a key ingredient to free markets, whether they are the sales of the good or the hiring of the labor, is accurate information. Neither the laborers selling their labor nor the customers making the final purchases were much aware of what was going on here until it was too late. In a free (labor) market these people wouldn't be conned into slavery working there in the first place

  • Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pollux ( 102520 ) <speterNO@SPAMtedata.net.eg> on Monday November 21, 2016 @04:21PM (#53334583) Journal

    I'm genuinely disappointed.

    I've seen numerous internet articles [cnet.com] showing the wide array and quality [fortune.com] of Samsung campuses in South Korea, and I've always told my friends and coworkers to buy Samsung, because you're buying Korean, and you're voting for a company with a good track record of clean production facilities and high wages for workers.

    I guess Samsung is just as bad as Apple [theguardian.com]. Or Nike [wsj.com]. Or that company that built the Burj Khalifa [migrant-rights.org]. I wonder who built it...

    Wikipedia.org...Burj Khalifa...

    Oh, wait... [wikipedia.org]

    Well, that just ruined my day.

  • We need to do something about trade where works rights are not in place.

    • Well that excludes the US then too. American Farmers depend on undocumented immigrants that they exploit and abuse to keep costs down. Tipping is another excuse to pay some people less than the minimum wage And how many americans get and take 4 weeks of paid leave a year ?
      • We should do something about it - when it happens somewhere else. There, it's unfair competition and they're literally raping our lunch. Here, it's the free market gig economy and if you don't like it yurracormanust.

    • We need to do something about trade where works rights are not in place.

      Like Walmart?

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      The problem is - how do you define workers' rights as being in place? Malaysia has all the right laws in place on paper. Company directors can in theory get the death penalty if they are found to be using trafficked labour (confiscating passports and paying below minimum wage are sufficient for this to be considered a human trafficking case, even if the victims were were issued proper visas and brought to the country legally, which would not be the usual case). And yet cases like this, much worse than thi
  • Could this be related?

    • Yes, little notes asking for help were being concealed in the phones, which also caused the phones to catch fire and then explode..

  • If it makes our goods cheaper, who cares what they do? Most people seem to agree that cheap goods should be the #1 concern. If slaves can make thing cheaper, the pain they feel isn't as bad as the savings everyone else gets. On average, we are all better off. /s

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde

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