Samsung Electronics has been instrumental in supplying the gadgetry that keeps us all connected. But the company is also a vast, opaque empire stretching around the globe, run by a secretive circle of South Korean executives that has an enormous amount of both wealth and power, and apparently, little respect for the rights of the people who make up its global labor force. In an extensive investigation spanning nine cities in India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, reporters with the South Korean news outlet Hankyoreh examined harrowing stories of workers getting sick or dying, reportedly due to the harsh and hazardous working conditions in Samsung Factories. And they also explored widespread allegations of systematic abuse of workers who sought to organize their factories. We talk to one of the co-authors of the series, Lee Jae-yeon about Samsung’s global web of corporate impunity.
In other news, we’ve got a Minnesota double-header: Amazon worker Mohamed Hassan on an impending strike on Prime Day, and SEIU’s Iris Altaminaro on charges of union busting and discrimination against airport workers; unionizing daycare workers at California; and the arrest of Puerto Rico’s scandal-ridden former Education Secretary. With recommended reading on a standoff between writers and talent agents in Hollywood, and a victory for U.S. women on the pitch.
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Workers Allege Discrimination at the Airport (Workday Minnesota)
Lee Jae-yeon, staff reporter Hankyoreh
Sarah: Liz Clarke, After a World Cup victory like no other, one chant stands out for the U.S. women: ‘Equal pay!’ (Washington Post)
Michelle: Keli Goff, Democratic Candidates Are Ignoring One of the Year’s Biggest Labor Disputes (The Nation)