Brazil sues Samsung over poor working conditions

A+
A
A-

AFP FILE PHOTO

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil has filed a lawsuit against Samsung alleging poor working conditions at a factory in the Amazon and is demanding more than $100 million in damages, the government said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Labor said employees at the factory worked up to 15 hours a day, including 10 hours on their feet, and sometimes for 27 days straight.

The audit was performed at the Manaus plant, one of the largest of Samsung’s 25 factories worldwide. The facility employs 6,000 workers and supplies all of Latin America.

The South Korean electronic giant “subjects its employees to the risk of illness from repetitive activity and the intense pace of work on the assembly line,” the labor ministry said.

According to a report on the website of the Tribuna Hoje newspaper, individual workers at the plant are given just six seconds to place a phone with its battery, charger, earphones and instruction manual in its packaging. Individual workers can repeat this process up to 6,800 times a shift.

The newspaper report said workers were given 4.8 seconds to place a television in its cardboard packaging while the assembly of a smartphone — involving dozens of workers on a production line — was clocked at 85 seconds.

Samsung said in a statement the company was reviewing the allegations.

“We are conducting a thorough review of the complaint, and promise to fully cooperate with the Brazilian authorities,” the company said.

“We take great care to provide a workplace environment that assures the highest industry standards of health, safety, and welfare for our employees across the world.”

The government is seeking 250 million reals ($108 million) in “collective moral damages.” Samsung already faces some 1,200 legal complaints by workers at Manaus.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • gringoloco

    How about Philippines?
    Why not to bring these companies here?
    The 60/40 should be changed.
    Thousands of new jobs could be open right here.
    No need to go overseas to work.
    The government can not understand the need to create jobs here?
    Too busy inventing new taxes and making sure people go bed hungry every night?

  • Mux

    This is what is known as the Brazilian cut. ;)

  • rudy_boy

    The facility employs 6,000 workers and supplies all of Latin America.

    TRANSFER the factory to other Latin ….or Asian countries and let the 6000 pax look for a new job. The corrective working condition should be applied, but the $100m demand is harsh for (ASIAN)multi-national investor..

  • TruthHurts

    “Brazil has filed a lawsuit against Samsung alleging poor working
    conditions at a factory in the Amazon and is demanding more than $100
    million in damages, the government said Tuesday.”

    Hats-off to Brazil. This is exemplary. China should do the same to the deplorable conditions of human beings working in some of the I-phone parts factories in their country, then again, whoever said that China was ever concerned about human working conditions.

  • http://www.pulisnapogi.blogspot.com/ Pulis Na Pogi

    i see another factory transferring to china..

    • Dibs

      nope…brazil is hell bent in transforming itself as a semicon mfg power house in s.america—the china of latin america, so to speak… they have a cheap labor force & energy cost… a couple of my colleagues are there now. i say, brazil is the next destination for Pinoy Semicon mfg engrs—the pay is better than SG/MY/TW/CN… kaya mga kababayan, dito na tayo…btw, they are looking for engineers with semicon mfg experience right now…

      it makes sense doin the semicon/electronic mfg there in brazil since the cost/duties in shipping the goods to s.america is prohibitive…this is now a new trend in semicon/electronics mfg, where some of the electronics/semicon production volume in china are transfered in latin america…

      • galamalama

        Bad for China.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94