Samsung: modern technology, medieval labor practicesPhoto: ITUC

This week, Samsung’s modern face is on full display at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where tech industry giants are gathering to unveil the latest smartphones, tablets and mobile technology. What they don’t show at the convention are the precarious and sometimes even deadly conditions in which low-paid supply chain workers make Samsung products.

Samsung: modern technology, medieval labor practicesPhoto: ITUC

Beneath Samsung’s shiny exterior as global electronics giant lies a corporate culture geared towards maximizing profit to the detriment of the everyday lives of its workers. According to ITUC, it is a modern tech company with medieval labor practices, whose calling cards are union busting, poverty wages, and insecure and unsafe working conditions.

The public became more aware of these unsafe working conditions when airlines banned the use of Samsung’s Note 7 after its fire-prone batteries started to spontaneously combust. Supply chain workers pay a huge price for the work they do. At least 79 workers have died of cancer-related diseases after being exposed to chemicals used in the Samsung production process. Samsung refused to take responsibility did not reveal the name of the chemical that led to the deaths.

Workers are paid far below the living wage, even though it would take much for Samsung to threat their workers with dignity and pay them a decent wage. Research of ITUC shows that Samsung makes $10,535 in profit for every supply chain workers. If they would increase wages with $50 per month to reach a minimum living wage in Asia, they would still make $9,835 per worker.

It’s time Samsung and other tech giants acknowledged the true cost of modern tech by shedding their medieval practices. With all eyes on Samsung at the Mobile World Congress right now, your will have maximum impact.

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