Both�Apple� (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and�Samsung� (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF ) release a sustainability report that trumpets their social and ecological progress. While both are improving their suppliers' practices, each tends to encounter the same repeated issues. The latest reports detail continued poor labor practices. Just what kind, and will these issues ever materially affect the companies or investors?
Source: 2014 Samsung Sustainability Report.
Issues in detail
The above list comes from Samsung's own on-site surveys of 200 Chinese suppliers. While the results of the survey were only reported with these numbers and no specifics, Samsung also published findings from a third-party audit, which goes into greater detail.
Out of 100 Samsung suppliers:48 had minors involved with chemical handling processes. 59 failed to provide safety gear like gloves, ear plugs, goggles, or masks. A majority (no exact number given) don't comply with China's legally permitted overtime hours. Nine discriminated based on either age, gender, or pregnancy in contracts or recruiting notices. 33 omitted working conditions from contracts or did not provide contracts to temporary workers. 33 delayed providing social insurance to workers. 39 paid only a fixed wage to part-time workers without providing pay for overtime hours.� 33 instituted fines or cut pay as a disciplinary action. "Some" did not have emergency exits or working smoke alarms. 33 didn't properly monitor sewage. 35 failed to control air pollution from manufacturing.�
To give credit, Samsung�did�actually publish these findings instead of hiding them and, more importantly, corrected each issue that it found. But Samsung isn't alone, as Apple faces many of the same issues.
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Small cap American Soil Technologies engages in developing, marketing and selling polymer and other soil amendments to the agricultural turf and horticulture industries primarily in the United States. The company�� principal products include Agriblend, a soil amendment for agriculture; Soil Medic, a slow release liquid fertilizer for homes, parks, golf courses, and other turf related applications; and The Agro Tower for vertical farming. American Soil Technologies also provides homogenized fertilizers, non-toxic insect controls, plant protectants, seeds and soil and silage inoculants to commercial and residential customers worldwide. On Friday, American Soil Technologies fell 9.52% to $0.0770 for a market cap of $5.24 million plus SOYL is up 1,141.9% over the past year and up 28.3% over the past five years according to Googl