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Apple Cuts Ties With Supplier Due to Underage Workers

By - Source: Reuters | B 36 comments

Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics reported to authorities.

Apple has cut ties with a Chinese supplier after an audit found that it employed underage workers.

During one of its audits of Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics, Apple found that the supplier employed underage workers to work in its factories. Apple immediately broke its relationship with the supplier and reported it to Chinese authorities.

74 underage workers were working there and they were all under 16 years of age. They were supplied by a recruitment company, Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources Co Ltd, which has since had its business licence revoked by the regional government due to the findings.

The iPhone maker managed to discover the practice after discovering several fake age verification documents. Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics was fined and were ordered to secure the transport for the underage workers back to their homes. Other firms who work with the supplier have followed Apple in launching their own audits into the firm.

"We go deep in the supply chain to find it," Apple senior vice-president of operations Jeff Williams said. "And when we do find it, we ensure that the under-age workers are taken care of, the suppliers are dealt with."

Foxconn, Apple's main supplier for its products, previously admitted to violating labor laws by employing 14 and 15-year-old interns.

 

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  • 21 Hide
    ddpruitt , January 25, 2013 8:12 PM
    Only reason the "found" underage workers is so they could legally cancel their contract without a penalty as a result of slowing demand, if they had plenty of demand were their I'm sure they wouldn't have any problems with this.
  • 20 Hide
    bobusboy , January 25, 2013 8:17 PM
    So, because of our western values; we have destroyed the livelyhood of people who had no income before and were making a pittance at this company? I'm all in favour of people getting paid what they're owed. But I had a job when I was 15, and I live in North America. I'd be interested to know how old these "underage" workers were.
  • 18 Hide
    unoriginal1 , January 25, 2013 8:11 PM
    "we ensure that the under-age workers are taken care of" I'd like to know how Apple took care of them.
    Just saying... When I was >16 yrs of age. I worked when I was told to, Or needed money for something I really wanted. I imagine these kids worked because their families needed support. Just wondering how they were "taken care of" now that they have less income coming home.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 25, 2013 7:42 PM
    Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Real Faith lol, not to the workers, thats for sure :) 
  • 18 Hide
    unoriginal1 , January 25, 2013 8:11 PM
    "we ensure that the under-age workers are taken care of" I'd like to know how Apple took care of them.
    Just saying... When I was >16 yrs of age. I worked when I was told to, Or needed money for something I really wanted. I imagine these kids worked because their families needed support. Just wondering how they were "taken care of" now that they have less income coming home.
  • 21 Hide
    ddpruitt , January 25, 2013 8:12 PM
    Only reason the "found" underage workers is so they could legally cancel their contract without a penalty as a result of slowing demand, if they had plenty of demand were their I'm sure they wouldn't have any problems with this.
  • 20 Hide
    bobusboy , January 25, 2013 8:17 PM
    So, because of our western values; we have destroyed the livelyhood of people who had no income before and were making a pittance at this company? I'm all in favour of people getting paid what they're owed. But I had a job when I was 15, and I live in North America. I'd be interested to know how old these "underage" workers were.
  • 12 Hide
    Daedalus12 , January 25, 2013 8:48 PM
    I feel like too many people abhor child workers and demand they stop working before actually looking into what the other income options are for these children and their families. How exactly did apply "make sure they were taken care of?" Some of the other options that children are forced into are much worse. I truly hope apple has taken care of them and their families before cutting off their income supply. I fear that they have not.
  • 0 Hide
    christop , January 25, 2013 8:50 PM
    Yeah and on to the next supplier that hasn't been outed yet!!!
  • 2 Hide
    SirGCal , January 25, 2013 8:55 PM
    I've worked 'for the man' in some form since I was 14 years old. What's the freakin deal? I worked at McD's of all crapholes. I would have killed for a real job like these guys seemed to have. WTH is going on?
  • 0 Hide
    iknowhowtofixit , January 25, 2013 9:22 PM
    "Foxconn, Apple's main supplier for its products, previously admitted to violating labor laws by employing 14 and 15-year-old interns."

    "Intern" is Chinese for "slave".
  • 0 Hide
    Daedalus12 , January 25, 2013 9:43 PM
    daedalus12I feel like too many people abhor child workers and demand they stop working before actually looking into what the other income options are for these children and their families. How exactly did apple "make sure they were taken care of?" Some of the other options that children are forced into are much worse. I truly hope apple has taken care of them and their families before cutting off their income supply. I fear that they have not.

  • 0 Hide
    Daedalus12 , January 25, 2013 9:44 PM
    Sorry, that was meant to be an edit!
  • 3 Hide
    sykozis , January 25, 2013 9:59 PM
    bobusboySo, because of our western values; we have destroyed the livelyhood of people who had no income before and were making a pittance at this company? I'm all in favour of people getting paid what they're owed. But I had a job when I was 15, and I live in North America. I'd be interested to know how old these "underage" workers were.

    It's not just our "western values"....it's also Chinese law.... The Chinese Gov't chose to pass labor laws that protect children....why exactly are we bashing this?

    Daedalus12I feel like too many people abhor child workers and demand they stop working before actually looking into what the other income options are for these children and their families. How exactly did apply "make sure they were taken care of?" Some of the other options that children are forced into are much worse. I truly hope apple has taken care of them and their families before cutting off their income supply. I fear that they have not.

    So, at what age do you think a child should be forced into working? 6? 7? 8? It's not the child's job to support the family. It's the family's job to support the child....
  • -2 Hide
    excella1221 , January 25, 2013 10:25 PM
    ^Finally, someone with sense here.

    God, people here at Tom's would overlook anything and use any excuse to bash at Apple.
  • 1 Hide
    vaughn2k , January 25, 2013 10:27 PM
    ddpruittOnly reason the "found" underage workers is so they could legally cancel their contract without a penalty as a result of slowing demand, if they had plenty of demand were their I'm sure they wouldn't have any problems with this.

    I strongly agree with you...
  • 9 Hide
    Daedalus12 , January 25, 2013 10:53 PM
    sykozisSo, at what age do you think a child should be forced into working? 6? 7? 8? It's not the child's job to support the family. It's the family's job to support the child....


    That's coming from a very protected worldview. I know and have worked with many people that have come from those areas of the world. I'm not saying it's ideal, or advocating for poor working conditions, not by a long shot. What I am saying is consider the alternatives. Is being forced to begging on the streets better? Is childhood prostitution better? People need to think about this before dictating that no one under 16 can work, and patting themselves on the back. Feel good laws are not charity. Real charity is personal.
  • 6 Hide
    Cons29 , January 26, 2013 12:02 AM
    with all the violations, why haven't they dumped foxconn yet?

    and yes, i agree that this is just to justify breaking the agreement with the supplier. at the same time making apple look good. D*mn, these guys are good, they are like politicians
  • 3 Hide
    bluekoala , January 26, 2013 12:11 AM
    I was working for money at age 10. At age 14 I had 3 lawn mowing contracts; that's what was paying for the food I wanted because our family didn't have money to buy anything fancy. I graduated high school at 17 and moved out to work full time. I've been working ever since and am now 29. And I'm not from Rewanda or anything, I'm from Canada. I don't see the problem with young people working if they want to.
  • 0 Hide
    STravis , January 26, 2013 12:57 AM
    Apple is but one company that does business in China - that supplier will quickly find another company to take Apple's place.
  • 0 Hide
    christarp , January 26, 2013 1:56 AM
    Lol you people, criticizing apple for using these companies, and when they dump them you criticize them for ruining the workers lives. You can't play both fields.
  • -7 Hide
    acerace , January 26, 2013 4:38 AM
    christarpLol you people, criticizing apple for using these companies, and when they dump them you criticize them for ruining the workers lives. You can't play both fields.


    Tom's consists of stupid people. Like excella1221 said, they'll use anything and everything to bash Apple.

    I bet with my own fkin life, IF this news is about Samsung instead, they'll praise them. I bet it.
  • 1 Hide
    neon neophyte , January 26, 2013 4:50 AM
    oh yeah, im sure it is just one big coincidence that apple is downgrading its supply chain while it just happens to be all noble about underage workers.

    i'm sure they would have reacted exactly the same way while desperately buying up every bit of supply. /sarcasm
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