PARIS - A French consumer watchdog said Thursday it had filed a complaint against telecom giant Samsung for "misleading commercial practices" over the working conditions of their workers in several countries.
According to UFC Que-Choisir, the corporate social responsibility policy posted on the South Korean company's website in which it says it defends "responsible management" of its supply chain "is actually smoke and mirrors."
The watchdog bases its complaint on "damning reports by NGOs and journalists" on Samsung suppliers who are accused of making their employees work in "inhuman" conditions.
Those reports include "children working in the cobalt mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the hellish rhythm of work in China and suspected forced labor of an ethnic minority, (and) the exposure of employees to toxic chemical products in South Korea."
A first complaint was filed in 2018 by two NGOs that led to Samsung's French division being charged in April 2019 for "misleading commercial practices."
"It is the first time in France that a firm's ethical commitments are being taken as constituting binding trade practices" for the company in question, the two NGOs bringing the case, Sherpa and ActionAid, said in a statement.