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Apple fires supplier over underage-labor violations

updated 02:15 am EST, Fri January 25, 2013

New report shows company conducted 72 percent more audits

Late Thursday, Apple updated its public Supplier Responsibility Report [PDF] with news that it had increased audits throughout the company's supply chain by 72 percent over 2011 levels. It also reported an increase in compliance among suppliers with a 60-hour work week maximum, now at 92 percent. The biggest news, however, is that Apple fired one of its suppliers -- Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics (PZ) -- after uncovering some 74 child labor violations, along with reporting other suppliers for not paying sufficient overtime.

In addition, Apple reported the labor agency accused of supplying PZ with the underage workers to authorities. Schools and other institutions forging documents to allow underage children to work in factories is a common problem in many parts of China, as the students often come from rural families dealing with crushing poverty and want or are forced to work in order to send money back home. The labor agency, which encouraged families to use falsified documents, ended up having its license suspended and will pay a fine.

Apple reported that the severing of the business relationship with PZ over underage labor caused a company that subcontracts to PZ to do its own audits, "proving that one discovery can have far-reaching effects," the company wrote. Apple conducted a total of 393 audits across its supply chain in 2012, which focused on environmental, safety, business and employment practices. It says it is now tracking more than one million employees, and posting monthly reports on its website.

The improved compliance with the 60-hour maximum law represents a significant improvement in a single year -- in last year's report, compliance was at 38 percent. None of the incidents detailed in the latest report had any direct connection to Foxconn, Apple's main supplier of device assembly labor.

Foxconn itself appears to have taken its relationship with Apple seriously enough to enforce a series of reforms that have dramatically reduced incidents of underage workers and unpaid or mandatory overtime, though Foxconn did admit late last year it had hired interns who were under 16. It promised to strictly enforce legal hiring policies going forward.





by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    tssss...

    Yeah, fire some small no-name supplier; not Foxconn, suicides are less of a violation. TOTAL BS!!

  1. tonton

    Senior User

    Joined: 03-05-01

    Suicides at Foxconn

    The suicide rate at Foxconn is lower than a) the suicide rate in China and b) the suicide rate in the US. Try a different anti-Apple angle next time.

    Hmm wonder how many suppliers Samsung has fired due to underage labor...

  1. mattyb

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 02-22-08

    Can you please post some links from reputable sources?

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by tontonView Post

    The suicide rate at Foxconn is lower than a) the suicide rate in China and b) the suicide rate in the US. Try a different anti-Apple angle next time.

    Hmm wonder how many suppliers Samsung has fired due to underage labor...

    Sources? BTW why are you trying undermine the truth?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    I'll just leave this here:



    "Undermining the truth", as it was established over a year ago, eh, blahblahbber.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Sources? BTW why are you trying undermine the truth?



    Where's the source you're using to refute this? Proof is required for both sides of an argument.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    I am not sure why you folks think suicides are better than "under-age" workers trying to make a LIVING (not dying). I feel life is more precious than what is being foretold as "better". Think about it, either scenario is to bring food on the table and anything extra. Would you rather see your fellow sapien dead or cooperative and earning something rather than unemployment??

    Yeah... thought so. And to think I gotta explain logic here to some (wannabe) chart techs! Try the Forex market; you might be better off without a heartbeat.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    You are the one who brought up suicides, dude.

    We're just pointing out that your mention of suicides actually works fabulously AGAINST whatever you were trying to say, since workers at Foxconn are obviously a lot happier than workers anywhere else in China, as the rate of suicide indeed would seem to prove.

    So if you were to put two and two together, you would have to argue that precisely because suicides are to terrible, Foxconn is a GOOD thing for China.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    I am not sure why you folks think suicides are better than "under-age" workers trying to make a LIVING (not dying). I feel life is more precious than what is being foretold as "better". Think about it, either scenario is to bring food on the table and anything extra. Would you rather see your fellow sapien dead or cooperative and earning something rather than unemployment??

    Yeah... thought so. And to think I gotta explain logic here to some (wannabe) chart techs! Try the Forex market; you might be better off without a heartbeat.



    Congratulations, this is one of the first post by you that doesn't include the term "crApple". Trying to hide your obviously anti-Apple bias for some reason?

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Not really news, since it happened last year.

    And why are suicides even part of the discussion? Geezzzz...

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