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Brazil sues Samsung over working conditions

Samsung Electronics is facing a lawsuit from the government of Brazil, seeking $100 million in damages over poor working conditions at the company's assembly lines in the country.
August 15, 2013

Working conditions in the manufacturing arm of the technology industry is always a contentious subject, and it looks like Samsung is the next big company to have its practices put under scrutiny.

Brazil’s Ministry of Labor has filed a lawsuit against the technology giant, claiming that the company has violated several of the country’s labor laws at one of its assembly plants. One of the more shocking claims suggests that Samsung has employees working 15 hours a day, with some people spending up to 10 hours on their feet each shift.

These working conditions have supposedly led to over 2,000 work related health problems, which the lawsuit is seeking to compensate with over $100 million in damages filed against Samsung by the Brazilian government.

But this isn’t the first time that Samsung has been accused of abusing its workforce. China Labor Watch detailed six Samsung manufacturing facilities and two of its suppliers which were all accused of “severe labor abuses”. Again, employees were found to be working excessive hours, up to 12 at a time, as well as suffering from physical and verbal abuse. Samsung has also faced several lawsuits in South Korea regarding hazardous working conditions.

Regarding the lawsuit in Brazil, Samsung has stated that it will co-operate with the authorities and that it will be conducting a review once it knows the exact details of the complaint. Here’s the statement from Samsung:

[quote qtext=”we will conduct a thorough review and fully co-operate with the Brazilian authorities. 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” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

We’ll have to wait and see how this all turns out, but it’s nonetheless troubling to still be hearing about cases like this, especially considering how many times that similar lawsuits have been brought against various technology companies.