Samsung Migrant Worker Guidelines Training Contributes to Safer Supply Chains

on March 24, 2017
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Workers that are happy and protected are usually the most productive. It’s vital that all employees have access to the right support throughout the recruitment process and employment term. And nowhere is this truer than when a person is looking for work overseas.

 

Samsung Electronics has adopted a training scheme and a wider commitment to fair and safe treatment of migrant workers. The drive comes at a time when there is increasing interest in migrant workers, particularly in Malaysia. There are already large numbers of migrant workers in the country, particularly in global manufacturing and agriculture supply chains.

 

Problems of migrant workers in Malaysia also come from its geographical aspect, including the sheer size of Malaysia and its free-flowing border with neighboring Indonesia. In this unavoidable environment, massive improvements based on proactive efforts are necessary to resolve the threatening issues, such as forced labor and exploitation of migrants.

 

 

 

Guidelines

For Samsung, this meant a campaign of activities to make sure workers from overseas are treated fairly. Firstly, the company announced a new set of guidelines at the end of last year. The Samsung Migrant Worker Guidelines with support from BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), came to eradicate forced or coercive labor.

 

And these guidelines aren’t just for Samsung internally, they are also essential for the company’s partners, labor suppliers, and recruiting agencies to establish an appropriate recruiting culture under the guidelines of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC).

 

 

Clarity is key

Following the Guidelines, Samsung conducted training in March 2017 attended by about 60 people from first-tier suppliers, labor sourcing company and recruitment agencies. Through the training, Samsung hopes to make its employment of migrant workers as transparent as possible. The training was focused on sharing the key aspects of the guideline to explain that commission for recruitment is prohibited, contracts must be provided in the employee’s mother language, and the company must provide travel expenses to enable employees to return to their home countries after the contract term is complete. Additionally, to protect the freedom of the workers, Samsung and its partners are also prohibited from storing employees’ identification cards forcibly.

 

Because human rights abuses often take place in opaque infrastructures, Samsung will protect workers by giving them full clarity of what their job will entail. They will be fully informed of what to expect from their roles and they will also be told about illegal fees they should avoid before, during and after their employment. All of this will ensure that no employees are working under duress.

 

One of attendees from Samsung’s partners in Malaysia said “Through the training program, I understood key items that company has to comply with Samsung Migrant Worker Guideline and EICC standard”. The attendee added “I have already started to set up the proper process in the management system”.

 

Also at the end of the training, HR Senior manager, Mr. Yeap in Samsung Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd highlighted that it was very important to work together with our partners to implement these guidelines and to strengthen fair recruitment process through the supply chain taking into account key stakeholders, such as suppliers, labor sourcing companies and recruitment agencies.

 

 

 

What’s next?

Samsung will continue the training going forward as necessary, but for Samsung, this commitment doesn’t end with the training. In this year, Samsung will conduct an on-site inspection of its partners and labor suppliers. The company will also continue to review its processes to make sure they are fair for all workers.

 

Forced labor, slave labor and human trafficking are a big problem that will require a staunch effort from companies all over the world. Samsung cannot tackle the issue on its own but the company is playing its part to make a difference and ensure that workers continue to be a priority.

 

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