After the recent publication of an article that detailed the violations of workers’ rights in Samsung factories in Malaysia, Samsung has announced new Migrant Worker Guidelines.
In the article from the Guardian, Samsung announced that it was conducting on-site investigations to see whether its labour supply companies were violating the rules that apply to the hiring process of migrant workers. Subsequently, Samsung has released a statement saying that they have terminated their contract with one labour supply company. Investigation of other companies is still ongoing. Furthermore, Samsung is introducing so-called Migrant Worker Guidelines. These will be applied across the company’s global operations and among its suppliers.
One of the findings highlighted by the Guardian in their article was that many migrant workers had to pay large sums in advance in order to secure a job. This meant that the workers were already in debt before they started working. Samsung’s newly released guidelines for migrant workers include rules for recruitment fees. The rules state that:
Samsung shall ensure that migrant workers shall not be responsible for paying any fees or expenses in connection with securing employment with (some) exceptions of the fees and expenses payable by migrant workers indicated below.
Samsung also expresses the intention to “hire migrant workers directly whenever possible” and outlines a list of topics that newly arrived workers have to be informed about in obligatory training sessions. In the press release, the company acknowledges that compliance with the guidelines within all its suppliers “will require ongoing vigilance”. Indeed, it remains to be seen how closely the company will be monitoring the implementation of its guidelines.