Brazilian government accuses Samsung of violating labor laws, sues for $108 million

Samsung SB971 Monitor logo

Samsung is being sued for $108 million in damages by the Brazilian government for violating labor laws at its factory located in the Manaus free trade zone, where nearly 6,000 people are employed. The suit was filed late last week, and contains evidence of long shifts without breaks, and staff with health problems arising from them.

According to Reporter Brasil, a human rights website, workers at the factory have just six seconds to pack a box with a phone charger, headset and a pair of instruction manuals, and the same task is repeated as many as 6,800 times per day. The total amount if time it takes to assemble a smartphone package is 85 seconds, while a television is placed in a box every 4.8 seconds.

During an investigation by Brazil’s Ministry of Labor, it was discovered workers were spending 10 hours a day standing, shifts lasting up to 15 hours, and at least one who hadn’t had a break for 27 days. In addition to the damages, the lawsuit demands workers receive a 10 minute break for every 50 minutes of work. Last year, more than 2000 employees logged health complaints related to tendonitis and back problems. The attorney general in Brazil is quoted as saying 15 hour days are unacceptable, particularly for a company of Samsung’s size. In an interview with the site, a co-ordinator for the China Labor Watch group said the working conditions in the Brazilian factory were similar to those in China.

Samsung has issued a brief statement, published by the BBC, saying, “We’re committed to offering our collaborators around the world a work environment that ensures the highest standards when it comes to safety, health and well-being.” It also said it would fully cooperate with the Brazilian government.

Late last month, a report showed Samsung made $5.2 billion in profits between April and June this year from its mobile division alone, and shipped 386 million phones. It stated high demand in Latin America played a major part in its impressive performance. Brazil’s Manaus factory is the primary supplier of Samsung products to Latin America.

Mobile

OpenTable points can now be used to whittle down cost of a hotel stay

Have some OpenTable Dining Points built up? Now those points can also be used to make your own hotel discounts. OpenTable is teaming up with Kayak to use points as discounts on participating hotels.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Mobile

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Deals

REI slashes prices on Suunto, Garmin, and Fitbit Versa smartwatches

Though fitness trackers and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, REI is offering some sweet discounts on top brands. Right now, you can get a new smartwatch from Fitbit, Suunto, and Garmin for up to 35 percent off its normal price.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.
Wearables

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Business

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Mobile

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.