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Apple Admits Using Child Labour via Foxconn and Wintek iPhone Work Camps
02-27-2010, 09:01 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-27-2010, 09:09 PM by TriWooOx.)
Thumbs Down  Apple Admits Using Child Labour via Foxconn and Wintek iPhone Work Camps
Quote:At least eleven 15-year-old children were discovered to be working last year in three factories which supply Apple.

The company did not name the offending factories, or say where they were based, but the majority of its goods are assembled in China.

Apple also has factories working for it in Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, the Czech Republic and the United States.

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.

Apple has been repeatedly criticised for using factories that abuse workers and where conditions are poor. Last week, it emerged that 62 workers at a factory that manufactures products for Apple and Nokia had been poisoned by n-hexane, a toxic chemical that can cause muscular degeneration and blur eyesight. Apple has not commented on the problems at the plant, which is run by Wintek, in the Chinese city of Suzhou.

A spokesman for Wintek said that "almost all" of the affected workers were back at work, but that some remained in hospital. Wintek said n-hexane was commonly used in the technology industry, and that problems had arisen because some areas of the factory were not ventilated properly.

Last year, an employee at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that is one of Apple's biggest suppliers, committed suicide after being accused of stealing a prototype for the iPhone.

Sun Danyong, 25, was a university graduate working in the logistics department when the prototype went missing. An investigation revealed that the factory's security staff had beaten him, and he subsequently jumped to his death from the 12th floor of his apartment building.

Foxconn runs a number of super-factories in the south of China, some of which employ as many as 300,000 workers and form self-contained cities, complete with banks, post offices and basketball courts.

It has been accused, however, of treating its employees extremely harshly. China Labor Watch, a New York-based NGO, accused Foxconn of having an "inhumane and militant" management, which neglects basic human rights. Foxconn's management were not available for comment.

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.

The technology company's own guidelines are already in breach of China's widely-ignored labour law, which sets out a maximum 49-hour week for workers.

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.

Only 65 per cent of the factories were paying their staff the correct wages and benefits, and Apple found 24 factories where workers had not even been paid China's minimum wage of around 800 yuan (Pounds76) a month.

Meanwhile, only 61 per cent of Apple's suppliers were following regulations to prevent injuries in the workplace and a mere 57 per cent had the correct environmental permits to operate.

The high environmental cost of Apple's products was revealed when three factories were discovered to be shipping hazardous waste to unqualified disposal companies.

Apple said it had required the factories to "perform immediate inspections of their wastewater discharge systems" and hire an independent environmental consultant to prevent future violations.

However, Apple has not stopped using the factories.

In 2008, Apple found that a total of 25 child workers had been employed to build iPods, iPhones and its range of computers.
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara

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02-28-2010, 06:31 AM,
RE: Apple admits using child labour
15 year old children? Please, don't be so dramatic. Its legal to work at McDonalds here in the states when you're 16. Now, if fifteen 11 year olds were discovered, that would be different. I'm not at all defending Apple, as I'm sure that they have used young kids, like many other big corporations out there. Though, you can't really blame the people of said countries where I'm sure its hard to find work.

Everything said about Apple in this article can be applied to dozens and dozens of other big corporations out there. This isn't really "news", this should be pretty much common sense by now - something we should be fully aware of.

We should know its always about the money first. The status quo is to profit by any means necessary, regardless of the consequences to the planet and humanity.
02-28-2010, 07:10 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-28-2010, 07:18 AM by Apocalypso Now!.)
RE: Apple admits using child labour
(02-28-2010, 06:31 AM)Justinfinity Wrote: Everything said about Apple in this article can be applied to dozens and dozens of other big corporations out there. This isn't really "news", this should be pretty much common sense by now - something we should be fully aware of.

We should know its always about the money first. The status quo is to profit by any means necessary, regardless of the consequences to the planet and humanity.

I am not clear as to your line of reasoning here. Are you suggesting that due to the common place nature of exploitation of children, for labour in hazardous conditions, it should then no longer be considered worthy of exposing the specific instances found with evidence, as everyone in the Western Hemisphere should be well aware of it but unfortunately are more concerned with things like how pretty or kickass their browser looks? i guess I know what you mean - most people are indeed talking superficial half assed, over preened and under deliberated, claptrap, much of the time, it certainly can appear so sometimes..I concur, if that is what you meant.

I think it is good Apple are being put on the spot and perhaps offering those with money still to waste on shiny new latest model apple products the option to give "their" money away in the capacity of being a little better informed as to the effects of their consumer choices - and further, even though a bastardshop I am sure McDonalds# nevertheless provide a better minimum standard of work environment, if only due to legal pressures, than the average chinese factory. jmo
03-21-2011, 05:26 AM,
RE: Apple admits using child labour
Enjoy your ban spambot Nancie.
12-03-2011, 08:29 AM,
RE: Apple admits using child labour
Foxxconn is the major parts supplier for Apple. Their factory conditions should be highlighted more than having a few 15 year olds working every year. Children of that age should be given the option to work. Child labour laws have gone so far as getting Social Protective Services involved in situations where a child is busing tables at a family restaurant business or working on family ranches.

There is, however, a difference between child labour and forced child labour.

But onto Foxconn.

Quote:..the $12 billion deal to produce and assemble components for Apple and other mobile items is heavily concentrated in the Amazon high tech free trade zone where unions have little leverage to help workers get higher wages; to help win this deal Dilma recently extended by decree the law establishing the zone for 50 years, citing strategic reasons.

Foxconn, the company behind the Apple deal, while the largest exporter of mobile components and devices from the Peoples Republic of China, is actually based in Taiwan. While China-friendly, its key board members have been closely identified with US business and communications intelligence interests including Dan Mehan, a former ATT/ Bell Labs cybersecurity expert.
Full Article:

More on the China, Brazil and Apple/Foxconn Deal in this post:

Mehan was heading a lobby to repeal the corporate holdings, asset, building and infrastructure tax on all large franchises and corporation, foreign and domestic in Missouri as President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It will be gradually applied and in full force by 2016. Obviously this will save corporations millions and drain corporate coffers. Companies like Apple will also be able to avoid reporting assets. This enables private cyber security and 'terrorist' watch programs to run privately with no disclosure of what they have deployed in the state.

In the midwestern United States Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Texas have no capital-based franchise tax and that Iowa and Kentucky only have a franchise tax for banks and investment companies. Kansas is phasing out its franchise tax next year.

More on Don Meehan here:
From iPhone Tracks Users' Movements, Email, Photos, GPS Coordinates
That thread has some other dirt on Apple.

Besides being a force in creating "tech free trade zones" all over the world, safety, labour conditions at their plants is a recurring issue.

Report: Only Escape From Hellish Apple iPhone Factory Was Suicide
May 19, 2010 3:25 PM

Employee Worked to Death at Apple Plant, Family Refused Full Benefits
June 2, 2010 1:17 PM

Chinese Worker Commits Suicide After iPhone Prototype Disappears
July 21, 2009 2:39 PM (Mysterious)

Foxconn Installs Anti-Suicide Nets at Its Facilities
June 29, 2010 9:43 AM

Foxconn explosion: Apple iPad supply impact unclear, dangers of combustible dust
May 23, 2011, 7:28am PDT (nice how ZDNet frames this as a supply issue)

Foxconn also fills orders from a broad list of clientele including Dell, HP, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.

Foxconn must make a lot of profit from paying less than minimum wage, getting entire areas designated as tax free zones, avoiding safety standards, having questionable environmental standards and crony deals with associates and friends in high place.

What do they do with all that money?

Foxconn to replace workers with 1 million robots in 3 years
2011-07-30 01:42:14

Oh ..
There are no others, there is only us.
12-03-2011, 01:42 PM,
RE: Apple Admits Using Child Labour via Foxconn and Wintek iPhone Work Camps
So why do people chose to work at Foxconn?
12-03-2011, 03:54 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-03-2011, 04:00 PM by sekular.)
RE: Apple Admits Using Child Labour via Foxconn and Wintek iPhone Work Camps
I would have put this in the business section. But i guess apple is technology.

I think they chose to work at foxconn because a lot of them moved from rural poor villages and they wanted to move to the city and work but they can get caught in a situation where they do not have the best standard of living. By western standards they are modern day slaves, but by their standards they are being harshly treated and under paid. I do not think they are physically captive and forced to work, I think they can leave at any time.

But it is wrong that a corporation that makes billions of dollars has to pay such low wages. I do not know where the blame is because it is outsourced, but either apple does not pay foxconn enough or foxconn does not pay its workers enough. It does not seem to bother the millions of westerners who own apple products.

They could probably double the wages of some of the foxconn factory workers and the apple profit amount would not change significantly, like a 0.005 off of their profits.

But i think that whole suicide thing is a bit dodgy because if you look at suicide statistics in any group of people that size you are going to get a certain amount per year and that would only be encouraged by the poor working conditions.
12-03-2011, 08:22 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-03-2011, 08:26 PM by Hans Olo.)
RE: Apple Admits Using Child Labour via Foxconn and Wintek iPhone Work Camps
But they must be paying relatively high wages compared to other companies in that country. O course workers are free to leave - but that would probably mean they'd had to work some place else, for even less money, under even harder conditions. That's not helpful. They could go back to the rural poor village - apparently that is not an attractive option either. So can we assume that those workers made a rational decision to take those jobs, and that they believe they are better off with those jobs than without them? OK?

Now why point the finger to the company that provides a slightly better alternative? Why not look at that country as a whole and ask yourself, damn, why are people in this particular region so desparate that they feel they have to take a job like that? What is it that makes living conditions so hard in these countries?

The answer would be government corruption, military dictatorship, foreign intervention, war damage, ... why not point the finger at that? In part, you would be pointing the finger at yourself, because some of you authorized your government to intervene, pay off officials, regulate, invade, manipulate, assassinate, bombard these countries and now because you can't handle the truth, which is, it's in part your fault (if you believe in using state violence to solving problems) you blame capitalists - in this case the people who just raised the living standards of a country for not raising it enough.


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