According to a new internal investigation conducted by Foxconn's parent company Hon Hai, underage workers have been found in some of the Foxconn factories. The question is if Apple will not act and ensure education of these underage workers.
The company has however not revealed the exact number of workers. According to a report in the Guardian, the company this week admitted using student interns as young as 14 in a Chinese factory. "Our investigation has shown that the interns in question, who ranged in age from 14 to 16, had worked in that campus for approximately three weeks," quoted Reuters from a statement this week.
Foxconn is known for partnering with Apple for manufacturing hardware of the devices it sells. It has been involved with designing of the latest iPhone from the Mac and iOS giant. It has been in news for some time for worker unrest and reports of not providing good working conditions to its workers. Though it produces parts for other tech giants also, only Apple has been interested in good working conditions and fair practices in Foxconn’s production units. In 2012, Apple hired Fair Labor Association to conduct an audit of working conditions at Foxconn. In March this year, Apple Chief Tim Cook personally visited its Zhengzhou manufacturing unit as it sought to improve working conditions at the factory.
According to the ‘Apple Supplier Responsibility 2012 Progress Report’, “Apple does not tolerate any instance of underage labor.” The report says "we also require suppliers to return underage workers to school and finance their education through our Child Labor Remediation program. Under this program, children returned to school are entitled to free education, continuing income at the same level they received when they were working, and their choice of schools.”
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. is world's largest maker of electronic components company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan and trades with the name Foxconn.
[Image: Workers clean up glass shards from the broken windows of a security room near paramilitary police vehicles parked near an entrance of a Foxconn Tech-Industry Park in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, September 24, 2012. Image Source: Reuters]