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Il tuo nuovo ed elegante smartphone Samsung portato a te da rumore, dolore e aborti

Your cool new Samsung smartphone brought to you by noise, pain and miscarriages

Pham Thi Minh Hang and Joseph DiGangi, Opinion contributors Published 6:00 a.m. ET March 14, 2018

The women blowing the whistle on Samsung factory conditions deserve to be heard. And for a sustainable electronics industry, they should be heeded.

(News media across the globe have been heaping praise on Samsung's cool new Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones. But amid all the raves about the tech innovations and fancy features of these devices, the lives of the mostly female workers who make them have been virtually ignored.

Few consumers or reporters are aware, for example, that half of all Samsung phones are manufactured in Vietnam by a female-majority workforce in their twenties.
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Il tuo nuovo ed elegante smartphone Samsung portato da rumore, dolore e aborti

Le donne che protestano sulle condizioni della fabbrica Samsung meritano di essere ascoltate. E per un'industria elettronica sostenibile, dovrebbero essere ascoltate.

I media di notizie in tutto il mondo hanno elogiato i nuovi smartphone Samsung Galaxy S9 e S9 +. Ma tra tutti i meeting sulle innovazioni tecnologiche e le caratteristiche fantasiose di questi dispositivi, le vite delle operaie per lo più femminili che le hanno fatte sono state praticamente ignorate.

Pochi consumatori o giornalisti sono consapevoli, ad esempio, che la metà di tutti i telefoni Samsung sono fabbricati in Vietnam da una forza lavoro femminile a maggioranza ventenne.

Le nostre organizzazioni hanno esplorato questa storia nascosta conducendo interviste approfondite, aperte e riservate a 45 donne che lavorano sulle linee di montaggio in due stabilimenti Samsung in Vietnam. Quello che abbiamo trovato è stato scioccante.

Tutti i lavoratori intervistati hanno riferito di aver sperimentato episodi di vertigini o svenimenti sul lavoro. Livelli di rumore elevati hanno violato i limiti legali. Dopo essere rimasti al lavoro per 70-80 ore alla settimana, hanno riferito dolore alle ossa, alle articolazioni e alle gambe. Non un singolo lavoratore che abbiamo intervistato ha ricevuto una copia del suo contratto di lavoro (una violazione del diritto del lavoro vietnamita).

Tra le informazioni più allarmanti è stato riportato che l'aborto spontaneo "è molto normale". Come ha detto un lavoratore, "è normale che siano giovani. Se sono incinta ... per il primo trimestre è molto difficile, abortiscono molto. "

Questa non è la prima indicazione che il lavoro nel settore elettronico può essere associato a danni riproduttivi. In Corea del Sud, il paese di origine di Samsung, uno studio scientifico peer-reviewed ha rivelato alti tassi di aborto spontaneo e aberrazione del ciclo mestruale tra gli operai della microelettronica di età compresa tra i 20 ei 39 anni.

Il gruppo di sostegno per la salute e i diritti delle persone nell'industria dei semiconduttori ha documentato oltre 300 casi di malattie professionali gravi e spesso fatali tra i lavoratori dell'elettronica in Corea del Sud, molti nelle fabbriche di Samsung. Nonostante le numerose sentenze della corte e del governo della Corea del Sud che trovano le condizioni di fabbrica responsabili della leucemia, linfomi, tumori cerebrali, sclerosi multipla, infertilità e altri gravi problemi di salute in giovani ex lavoratori, i produttori continuano a negare la propria responsabilità e si rifiutano di identificare le sostanze chimiche che usano .

In Vietnam, Samsung ha lanciato una campagna per minare le informazioni fornite dai propri dipendenti, tra cui minacce ai lavoratori con licenziamenti e cause legali in caso di colloqui con "estranei" e minacce legali ai nostri ricercatori. Fortunatamente, Samsung non è stata in grado di sopprimere il nostro rapporto e le testimonianze delle lavoratrici. Scrivendo in The Nation, la giornalista del lavoro Michelle Chen definisce il nostro rapporto un'indagine approfondita secondo cui "si staccano gli involucri della Big Tech per rivelare una forza lavoro estremamente vulnerabile, per lo più femminile, che potrebbe sacrificare la sua salute neurologica e riproduttiva nei laboratori digitalizzati di Dickensiana memoria per creare smartphone all'avanguardia. "

Ci auguriamo che i consumatori negli Stati Uniti e in Europa, i due più grandi mercati per i telefoni Samsung, ascolteranno le voci delle 45 donne che denunciano le fabbriche di Samsung Vietnam e gli avvertimenti dei 300 ex-lavoratori dell'elettronica in Corea del Sud. Non solo le loro voci meritano di essere ascoltate, ma per un'industria elettronica sostenibile dovrebbero essere ascoltate.

I lavoratori hanno il diritto umano a posti di lavoro sicuri e salubri. Abbiamo bisogno di politiche chimiche che garantiscano misure di sicurezza e salute ambientale protettive per la forza lavoro elettronica e le comunità circostanti. Per il futuro delle donne in Vietnam, Corea del Sud e lavoratori Samsung in tutto il mondo, è ora di ripulire Samsung.

Pham Thi Minh Hang è vice direttore del Centro di ricerca per genere, famiglia e ambiente in sviluppo. Joe DiGangi è il consulente scientifico e tecnico senior per IPEN, una rete globale che lavora per ridurre ed eliminare le sostanze chimiche pericolose.

Puoi leggere diverse opinioni dal nostro Board of Contributors e da altri autori sulla prima pagina di Opinion, su Twitter @ usatodayopinion e nella nostra newsletter di Opinion daily. Per rispondere a una colonna, inviare un commento a letters@usatoday.com.


Samsung Workers on the Line: Unique Report Reveals the Lives of Vietnamese Women Workers Making the Samsung Smart Phones in Your Pocket (Updated)

fonte IPEN

Korean News Network, JTBC, covers report on Samsung workers in Vietnam. Click this link for a translation of the story: http://ipen.org/site/korean-news-jtbc-covers-report-samsung-vietnam

UPDATED

READ FULL REPORT (English / 한국어)

(Göteborg, Sweden) In an unprecedented study on the experiences of women working at two Samsung factories in Vietnam, a new report documents health and workplace violations by the electronics industry giant. The workers’ experiences of fainting or dizziness, miscarriages, standing for eight-to-twelve hours, and alternating day/night shift work are documented in a report released by the Hanoi-based Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) and IPEN, a global network of environment and health NGOs working to reduce and eliminate harmful chemicals.

Samsung dominates the global phone market as well as the electronics sector and economy of Vietnam, where 50% of its smart phones are produced. The electronics sector is a significant area of growth for Vietnam, as electronic products outpace other exports. However, Vietnam has no labor codes specifically protecting the health of electronics industry workers, who are overwhelmingly women.

The study combines industrial sector research and qualitative narratives of 45 workers, and is the first of its kind in Vietnam to shed light on the experiences of the predominantly female electronics industry workers. Because Samsung is notoriously secretive, it offers a rare glimpse into life on the Samsung factory floor.

Key Findings:

  • None of the workers received a copy of their work contract – a violation of Vietnamese law.
  • Women work under high noise levels that exceed Vietnamese regulatory limits.
  • All workers reported extreme fatigue and dizziness or fainting at work.
  • Workers reported that miscarriages are extremely common—even expected.
  • Workers must stand throughout their 8-to-12-hour shifts and many are kept on alternating day and night shift schedules, regardless of weekends.
  • Pregnant workers usually stand for the entire shift to avoid having the company deduct money from their wages for taking breaks.
  • More than half of the interviewed women have children, but company dormitory rules prohibit them from living with their mothers. The children live with family members in another town or city.
  • Workers reported problems with bone, joint, and leg pain.
  • Workers’ lives are controlled inside and outside of work and they are restricted from speaking about work because of fear of reprisals.
  • The need for further research regarding chemical exposure is necessary. Despite the fact that workers are stationed in open factory settings where other workers use a variety of substances, they did not consider assembly line work a chemical risk.

The study, says the Hanoi-based research group that conducted the research, is a rare opportunity for consumers and policy makers to learn about the harsh working conditions that the female workers making the ubiquitous phones must endure.

“We hope that people buying smart-phones will be more aware of the workers on the assembly lines making their phones,” said Ms. Pham Thi Minh Hang from CGFED. “The women we interviewed endure ongoing labor code violations, workplace dangers and health hazards. All the women reported dizziness or fainting at work. This is not normal. They reported inhumane overtime and intense production demands. Workers are often prevented from speaking out about their working conditions by company rules that claim all expressions about life inside the factory constitute trade secrets. We hope that the information in this report will bring about better protections for workers, and that consumers will demand decent working conditions for workers who make the electronics in their homes and pockets.”

The report underscores the need for better protections for Vietnam’s large and growing electronics work force, and the need for transparency around industrial chemicals used throughout electronics production.

“This study is important because the lives and rights of workers in the electronics industry in Vietnam have been neglected in research and policy,” said Joe DiGangi, PhD., IPEN Senior Science and Technical Advisor. “Companies make a lot of money in Vietnam, but their profits rest on the tired shoulders of the female-majority workforce. Comprehensive regulations should be developed and enforced to ensure worker safety in the electronics industry. Economic development must be concerned not just with GDP, but equally consider impacts on the health of workers and communities in developing and transition country economies where the electronics industry is rapidly expanding.”

Samsung has threatened workers with firing and lawsuits if they speak publicly about their work experiences. In an effort to intimidate CGFED, they have threatened the group with a lawsuit. The company has also publicly stated that they are considering suing IPEN. Samsung has made many false statements in the Vietnamese media about the nature and details of the report. CGFED and IPEN stand by the research which speaks for itself.

The CGFED-IPEN report triggered an investigation of the two Samsung factories by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA). A news article briefly described the investigation, but MOLISA has not yet publicly released it. The MOLISA investigation confirmed several findings in the report including excessive working hours and lack of proper training. However, large gaps still remain as the MOLISA investigation did not appear to include excessive noise levels, insufficient break time, health effects in workers, and chemical use and monitoring.

###

Contacts:

Ms. Laura Vyda, IPEN, LauraVyda@ipen.org + 1 510 3871739

Ms. Pham Thi Minh Hang, CGFED, hangpham@cgfed.org.vn

Mr. Joe DiGangi, IPEN, joe@ipen.org

Founded in 1993, the Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) has been carrying out social scientific research and intervention activities, targeting at women’s development and gender equity. As one among the first Vietnamese non-governmental organizations (NGO), CGFED is proud of its work building the foundation and the development of a young NGO community among member of the Vietnamese civil society.

IPEN is a network of non-governmental organizations working in more than 100 countries to reduce and eliminate the harm to human health and the environment from toxic chemicals.

Download this press release here.

Please see coverage from Korean news station JTBC about the report here.

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  •  The Samsung Electronics plant in Bac Ninh displays its massive export numbers on the outside of the building. Photo credit: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/industry/8785-samsung-made-vietnam-50-samsung-mobile-phones-made-vietnam
  • Lunch time at Samsung Vietnam. Photo credit: http://vneconomictimes.com.vn/article/corporate/samsung-struggles-to-house-workers
  • Mobile phone assembly at Samsung Vietnam.  Photo credit: http://samsungrumors.net/one-tells-samsung-town-vietnam/
  • Mobile phone assembly at Samsung Electronics in Vietnam happens standing up. Photo credit: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20141111000954
  • Lunch break at Samsung’s Ban Ninh plant. Almost all the female workers are in their twenties.  Photo credit: http://www.phamhongphuoc.net/2013/07/10/nhung-co-gai-xuan-thi-samsung-bac-ninh/
  • The mostly female workforce stands for the entire workshift period. Photo credit: http://www.thanhniennews.com/business/vietnam-inherits-factories-from-manufacturers-fleeing-china-36771.html
  • Worker dormitories at Samsung’s Bac Ninh plant are crowded and have the potential to disrupt sleep if all the residents of a room are not working the same shift schedule. Photo credit: http://genk.vn/tin-ict/dot-nhap-nha-may-samsung-o-bac-ninh-20130711172709955.chn
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The Samsung Electronics plant in Bac Ninh displays its massive export numbers on the outside of the building. Photo credit: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/industry/8785-samsung-made-vietnam-50-samsung-mobile-phones-made-vietnam
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