A chinese supplier for Samsung Electronics and Lenovo Group yesterday denied ever having hired child workers, denying claims by a US-based group.
Samsung Electronics said it had found no children or students working on the Samsung line at HEG Technology’s Huizhou factory in south China’s Guangdong Province.
A Lenovo spokeswoman said it would be looking into the China Labor Watch allegations.
The New York-based watchdog said it had found more than 10 children working at the HEG factory during a recent investigation. It said it also found more than 100 students who were not being paid for overtime or night shift work.
The watchdog said it shared the evidence with Samsung last week and that Samsung had demanded the supplier pay some students’ wages. It did not say whether Samsung took any action on the matter of child labor or whether it had reached out to Lenovo with the information.
An employee surnamed Zeng at HEG Technology’s human resources department said the company had never hired children, and that it had facial recognition systems in place to ensure workers were not underage.
For Samsung products, HEG employs workers aged 18 and over while the minimum age for workers on Lenovo’s product lines is 16, she said. The company relies on an outsourcing company to hire students.
Samsung said it had proposed to China Labor Watch that they conduct a joint onsite investigation “for more precise verification” of the allegations.
Samsung also said it had informed the watchdog about the results of its own investigation, adding: “We find it regrettable that CLW issued the allegations today without any mention of our statement.”
It was the second time in as many months that China Labor Watch has said it found children working at Samsung’s Chinese suppliers. Samsung halted business with one supplier and later reinstated it, but with a reduction in orders.
Two years ago, China Labor Watch accused HEG of using child labor. Samsung subsequently said it had not found any workers below the legal working age of 16.