At least eleven 15-year-old children were discovered to be working last year in three factories which supply Apple.
Apple said the child workers are now no longer being used, or are no longer underage. “In each of the three facilities, we required a review of all employment records for the year as well as a complete analysis of the hiring process to clarify how underage people had been able to gain employment,” Apple said, in an annual report on its suppliers.
In its report, Apple revealed the sweatshop conditions inside the factories it uses. Apple admitted that at least 55 of the 102 factories that produce its goods were ignoring Apple’s rule that staff cannot work more than 60 hours a week.
Apple also said that one of its factories had repeatedly falsified its records in order to conceal the fact that it was using child labour and working its staff endlessly.
“When we investigated, we uncovered records and conducted worker interviews that revealed excessive working hours and seven days of continuous work,” Apple said, adding that it had terminated all contracts with the factory.
Apple’s taking a lot of flak in the media for this from journalists, pundits and ‘bloggers’ who obviously are not seeing the bigger picture. Writers who are guffawing and retweeting these misleading headlines to the frenzied joy of their advertising managers who love to get an Apple headline in. Apple voluntarily undertakes these supplier reviews. They dutifully apply Western standards of working practise to their suppliers, regardless of region, with regards to employment laws, minimum wage and local standards of holidays and benefits. Re-read the areas I put in bold from the Telegraph article. Are they the actions of a company which is trying to hide it’s association with offending suppliers?
Which other Western tech companies are using those suppliers and why are they not being named and shamed? Why was it left to Apple to be the whistle-blower for these suppliers when they are used by dozens of tech companies around the world?
From the comments in that article:
According to the Wikipedia article, Foxconn – the people actually using child labour in the story – also make PC motherboards for Dell, HP, AMD, and Intel. They make Wii’s, XBox 360’s, and PS3’s. They make cell phones for Nokia and Motorola. They make the Amazon Kindle.
My guess is that Apple is the only one that draws headlines. My guess is that it’s another example of the poor quality of tech journalism in the world. My guess is that finding out who else uses these suppliers would be ‘work’.