By Pete Pattisson
The Guardian, Monday 21 November 2016
Samsung and Panasonic, two of the world’s leading electronics brands, are facing allegations that workers in their supply chains are being duped, exploited and underpaid in Malaysia.
The two companies have launched investigations into allegations of abuse made by Nepalese workers after a Guardian investigation raised multiple concerns about their treatment.
The men said they had been deceived about pay, had their passports confiscated and had been told that they must pay large fines if they wanted to return to Nepal before the end of their contract. They also claimed they were forced to work for up to 14 hours on their feet without adequate rest, and with restricted toilet breaks, in an attempt to settle recruitment fees of up to £1,000 – they said they had to pay this money to secure their jobs.
They said they felt “cheated” and trapped in their factory jobs making or assembling components for household electrical goods sold on the global market.
“My heart is aching,” said one young man who works in a factory making Samsung microwaves. “I was not given the job I was promised. I am doing very difficult work. I haven’t got the salary they said I would get.”