Apple recently ended its relationship with a China based third party labor supplier after discovering that the supplier had employed underage workers. This was reported in the latest Supplier Responsibility report that the Cupertino tech giant released last evening.
The Chine based third party labor supplier in question, Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics (PZ), had a conspiracy to employ dozens of underage workers employed there. Apple says that it reported this unfortunate happening to the local authorities so that they can take the required actions.
The agency which has been held responsible for this was levied a fine and its license was suspended. The agency had conspired with the families of the underage children it had recruited in falsifying the age verification documents. In its report, the Cupertino tech giant, Apple, says:
The children were returned to their families, and PZ was required to pay expenses to facilitate their successful return. In addition, the company that subcontracted its work to PZ was prompted by our findings to audit its other subcontractors for underage labor violations — proving that one discovery can have far-reaching impact.
The working conditions for employees in electronics manufacturing industries has been looked after very intensely in recent times, and this is for the good. This is done to improve the working conditions for these workers and reduce the rising risk of child labor in some of the major developing markets of the world.
“Underage labor is a subject no company wants to be associated with, so as a result I don’t believe it gets the attention it deserves, and as a result it doesn’t get fixed like it should,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, told Bloomberg in an interview. CNET writes:
In its report, Apple said it conducted 393 audits in its supply chain last year, a 72 percent increase over 2011. The audits included reviews on environmental and operations safety, business practices, and employee recruitment.
The Cupertino tech giant is posting results on its web site the results of its tracking of about one million workers from its supply chain Even Samsung is working hard on doing the same with its supply chain.
All this started when Foxxonn admitted that it had hired a few interns under the age of 16, which is the legal working age in China. Foxconn has been one of the most important suppliers for Apple, and it had said that it would terminate any employee responsible for hiring underage interns.