Paris, 26 February 2013 – Peuples Solidaires, Sherpa and Indecosa-CGT have today lodged a complaint at the Bobigny Public Prosecutor’s department against Samsung, intending to show that the brand’s ethical commitments are misleading French consumers into believing that Samsung’s advertised working conditions are more decent than they are in reality..
Samsung pretends to guarantee that the rights of the workers that make its products are respected by adopting codes of conduct that contain strict ethical rules, but the company closes its eyes to the indecent labor conditions that take place in Chinese factories producing for Samsung.
The results of undercover investigations led in China by China Labor Watch in eleven factories reveal the real conditions in which Samsung products are made. Excessive overtime, violations of fundamental health and security rules, abuse of interns and temporary workers who are sometimes less than 16 years old, and more. This is a reality very far from the “citizen company” or “social responsibility” that the South Korean giant invokes in its public communication.
By lodging a complaint, our organizations aim at denouncing the misleading commercial practices of the brand and moreover, the “Fairwashing” phenomenon, which consists of adopting ethical commitments only for marketing purposes.
This complaint is unprecedented because until today, French jurisdictions have never determined whether or not the misleading ethical commitments of a company could be considered as a misleading commercial practice and then punishable by criminal law.