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Samsung sued for $110M in Brazil after Ministry of Labor finds labor rights violations


According to a report from ReporterBrasil, an organization and news agency reporting on labor rights issues in Brazil, prosecutors in the country have filed a lawsuit against Samsung related to poor working conditions in one of the company’s factories. According to the report, the lawsuit was filed after the Ministry of Labor (MPT) found labor rights violations in a Samsung plant located in Zona Franca de Manaus that’s used to assemble some of the company’s smartphones supplied to Latin America:

The lawsuit filed by prosecutors is based on the assessment notices by registered auditors of the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MTE) after two inspections made at the factory in Manaus – one in May 2011 and another in May this year. Through technical analysis, they found that the employees of South Korean company come to hold three times more strokes per minute than the limit considered safe for ergonomic studies.

Some of the infractions mentioned in the translated report include workers spending in excess of 10-15 hours a day on foot without a break for up to 27 workdays in a row, and around 2,018 requests by employees to be removed due to health problems. The plant is said to employ around 5,600 employees total:

Over the Last year, back problems, tendonitis, and cases of Bursitis, and other disturbances Work Related Musculoskeletal (called DORT) generated 2.018 requests for withdrawal… 

The frantic pace and repetitive movements typical of the production line are also compounded by flaws in the ‘layout of jobs “- as the height of tables and inappropriate lack of chairs for rest, for example. “The company does not have the appropriate management of occupational health. She is not worried in fact in solving the problem, “said Romulo Lins, tax auditor MTE.

The lawsuit is seeking damages of around 250 million reais (approximately $110 million US) for employees.

Samsung had the following statement when reached by ReporterBrasil:

“Once we receive notification about this case, we will perform an analysis of the process and will cooperate fully with the Brazilian authorities.” Company representatives also say they are “committed to providing our employees around the world work environment that ensures the highest industry standards regarding safety, health and well-being.”

While Samsung’s biggest competitor, Apple, has been the subject of the most scrutiny over working conditions in recent years, Samsung executives said last year that the company would work to improve conditions at suppliers after issues of excessive overtime and fines for employees at its facilities in China came to light.

(Thanks Esteban!)

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.