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Samsung Ends Contract With Foreign Labor Company After Reports Of Serious Abuse

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Samsung announced Monday that it was ending a business agreement with a foreign company a month after several allegations of abusive conditions for migrant workers were released.

While Samsung, the South-Korea based tech company, did not specify which labor supply company, a report conducted by The Guardian accused a Samsung-contracted factory of duping, exploiting, and underpaying employees.

Some of the worker complaints of the company included illegal seizure of passports, misleading salary amount, exacting exorbitant agency fees to retain employment, and poor treatment like long periods of forced standing without rest or bathroom breaks. (RELATED: Samsung Misled China By Saying Exploding Phones Were Safe)

“My heart is aching,” a younger man who makes Samsung microwaves at the factory told The Guardian. “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.”

“Samsung Electronics conducted an on-site investigation of these companies we work with in Malaysia and the migrant workers hired by these companies,” the corporation said in an official blog post. “Based on this investigation, we identified one of our labor supply companies to be in violation of the hiring process of migrant workers, and as consequence, we terminated our contract with this company.”

The tech company is introducing new guidelines to help address these issues, in which “the intent of the guidelines is to eradicate any existing or potential of forced or coercive labor, slave labor or human trafficking of migrant workers either at Samsung or among any of our suppliers.”

In the guidelines, Samsung refers to a “Migrant Worker” as someone who is “in a state in which he or she is not a national and has to move from one country to another for the purpose of employment.”

“As a committed member of the global community, Samsung will continue in its efforts to both respect and protect human rights. Samsung has recognized the seriousness of the migrant worker issue,” the company continues during the announcement.

Samsung is certainly not the only tech company to be accused of severe labor abuses.

Some Chinese companies that manufacture devices for Apple reportedly violated several legal workplace standards. “Workers are exposed to potential occupation injuries without proper protection,” according to the report published by industry watchdog China Labor Watch. (RELATED: Apple Has Been Hit With Several Obstacles Over Past Few Months)

Two workers at Foxconn, a multinational technology company in Taiwan, who worked on the iPhone assembly line Zhengzhou, China, died on back-to-back days in August.

One of the deaths was ruled a suicide after a 31-year-old man climbed to the top floor of the building and voluntarily jumped off. He had been working there for a month, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The other was ruled accidental after a Foxconn employee scaled a fence and attempted to cross railway tracks to get to work. She was hit by a train and died from the injuries.

Foxconn allegedly has suicide prevention nets on the outside of the factory buildings to decrease the chances of an employee committing suicide during work hours.

Samsung, though, has to deal with the latest revelations of the contracted factory in Malaysia on top of the exploding Galaxy Note 7 debacle. (RELATED: Samsung Tests Its Own Batteries, Detected No Problems Prior To Explosions)

The company announced a couple of weeks ago that it plans on dividing the company into two parts, assumedly in hopes to increase shareholder value.

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