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Foxconn Admits Violating Labor Laws with Underage Interns

By - Source: CNet | B 38 comments

Foxconn confirms reports that had underage interns on staff.

Foxconn has released a statement acknowledging that it breached Chinese labor laws by employing 14- and 15-year-old interns. The company told CNet in a statement that was conducting an investigation into how the underage workers came to work at Foxconn.

The company's statement comes in response to a report published by China Labor Watch, a New York-based non profit, that claimed Foxconn employed child labor during the summer of this year. CLW cites worker at the factory as saying interns under the age of 16 were working at the factory, a report corroborated by a Chinese radio show.

CLW says that a small number of student interns aged between 14-years-old and 16-years-old were sent to Foxconn by schools. Foxconn did not check the students' IDs to confirm their ages.

"The schools involved in this incident should take primary responsible, but Foxconn is also culpable for not confirming the ages of their workers," a statement on CLW's site reads. "China Labor Watch calls on the Chinese government to improve the current intern system of Chinese schools."

Speaking to CNet, Foxconn said the interns in question have been sent back to school.

"This is not only a violation of China's labor law, it is also a violation of Foxconn policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions," the company is quoted as saying. "We are also carrying out a full investigation, in cooperation with the respective educational institutions, to determine how this happened and the actions that must be taken by our company to ensure that it can never happen again."

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  • 20 Hide
    valcron , October 17, 2012 11:55 AM
    This is who the majority of the IT field does business with. Not defending Apple but they get focused on way to much compared to other companies. You would think no one but Apple did business with Foxconn
  • 15 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , October 17, 2012 11:55 AM
    spentshellsThis is who apple does business with. I can see now why the stock is so high.


    You do realize their list of clients include: Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, Intel, HP, Dell, Cisco, Amazon, Motorola, Toshiba, Nintendo, etc.

    Why are you just naming Apple, that's pathetic. Blame all of them or none.

    You're sounding like an anti-Apple Stan.
Other Comments
  • -4 Hide
    spentshells , October 17, 2012 11:39 AM
    This is who apple does business with. I can see now why the stock is so high.
  • 15 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , October 17, 2012 11:55 AM
    spentshellsThis is who apple does business with. I can see now why the stock is so high.


    You do realize their list of clients include: Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, Intel, HP, Dell, Cisco, Amazon, Motorola, Toshiba, Nintendo, etc.

    Why are you just naming Apple, that's pathetic. Blame all of them or none.

    You're sounding like an anti-Apple Stan.
  • 20 Hide
    valcron , October 17, 2012 11:55 AM
    This is who the majority of the IT field does business with. Not defending Apple but they get focused on way to much compared to other companies. You would think no one but Apple did business with Foxconn
  • 0 Hide
    valcron , October 17, 2012 11:55 AM
    Well IT companies. Shouldn't have said field.
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , October 17, 2012 12:05 PM
    So what... they will pay a fine and run along with it. Its not like the owners of the company are gonna be trialed for this anyway... (im not trying to make it sound like it should not matter, just stating the fact that it dosent 8( ).
  • 0 Hide
    may1 , October 17, 2012 12:06 PM
    Well at least the title had "labor laws with"...
  • 2 Hide
    belardo , October 17, 2012 12:52 PM
    Also includes lenovo...
  • 0 Hide
    stingstang , October 17, 2012 1:02 PM
    I'm willing to bet the radio show was taken off shortly after this erupted. Also, "Today in class kids, we're going to learn the most important lesson for us Chinese. Factory work! Everyone on the bus!"
  • 0 Hide
    L0tus , October 17, 2012 1:13 PM
    It's appalling right? Yet there you all are ...typing away on your Foxconn-made electronic gizmos.
  • 6 Hide
    rantoc , October 17, 2012 1:15 PM
    valcronThis is who the majority of the IT field does business with. Not defending Apple but they get focused on way to much compared to other companies. You would think no one but Apple did business with Foxconn


    Many companies does indeed have business with Foxconn but I can fully understand why Apple is seen as the biggest offender, the reason is quite simple - They have the margins to make the change happen while many other company's are locked in quite fierce competition and don't enjoy the same margins. They would have a harder time to adjust unless their competitors also adjust.

    See it like drug businesses, should the cops go after the regular dealer or the big time fish who makes the most out of peoples misery (much like in this case) ?
  • -1 Hide
    bllue , October 17, 2012 1:24 PM
    How else could we have "cheap" iPhones?
  • -3 Hide
    zak_mckraken , October 17, 2012 1:38 PM
    They returned the interns to their respective schools and they will conduct an investigation. They obviously are a good company.
  • 2 Hide
    deadlockedworld , October 17, 2012 2:05 PM
    China has labor laws?
  • 1 Hide
    Gundam288 , October 17, 2012 2:14 PM
    deadlockedworldChina has labor laws?

    More than likely they are just on the books and rarely enforced.

    I think Foxconn is admitting to it because rumors were flying around and they know that it might catch up to them. It's better for them to face the music early than later + other charges that could sink Foxconn all together.

    I've had a MoBo or 2 from Foxconn. It was decent and I will say that it lasted over 3 times longer than the Asus that was going to replace it and it's still working to this day.

    They may be "cheap" but even with cheap products sometimes you can find a winner if you are lucky.
  • 2 Hide
    slabbo , October 17, 2012 3:02 PM
    Age 14-15 should be allowed to work if they want to. We are babying everyone nowadays. Back then kids aged 10 and up worked on more dangerous farms all the time to help out, and this was even their own father and mother telling them to. It was good thing to help them earn some extra money for the summer so they can buy that bike or baseball cards. I don't see why interns can't be 14+, they don't do jack shit anyway. I would have loved to check out and work at a electronics factory to see how all our stuff is made when I was 14. We live in a really really sissified world now.
  • -1 Hide
    slabbo , October 17, 2012 3:07 PM
    also in the USA you can work at age 14 with a work permit. My niece even wanted to find a job at the age of 12, but can't. She just wanted to make some extra money.
  • 6 Hide
    willard , October 17, 2012 3:13 PM
    Quote:
    The company told CNet in a statement that was conducting an investigation into how the underage workers came to work at Foxconn.

    No investigation needed, I think we all know what happened.

    Exec 1: Damn, we're going to have trouble meeting the iPhone 5 shipment because we got rid of all our child labor earlier this year.
    Exec 2: Why don't we just hire the kids back?
    Exec 1: Good idea, make sure we can deny it though if it comes back to us.
    ...
    Exec 1: Oh no! It looks like our underage workers are about to be discovered again!
    Exec 2: Quick, throw the school under the bus and deny everything!
    Exec 1: Good thing we already finished production of the iPhone 5. Child labor to the rescue yet again!

    Fun fact, if Apple spent ten times more to manufacture the iPhone 5 in the US (in reality it's more like twice as much), their margins would only drop from 356% to 273%. Apple could be ludicrously profitable manufacturing the iPhone 5 anywhere in the world. They (and others, who have already been listed) choose to use a company well known for labor violations not in order to remain profitable, but to line their pockets with even more money.

    Ethics, absent in business since 6,000 B.C.
  • 6 Hide
    willard , October 17, 2012 3:27 PM
    slabboAge 14-15 should be allowed to work if they want to. We are babying everyone nowadays. Back then kids aged 10 and up worked on more dangerous farms all the time to help out, and this was even their own father and mother telling them to.

    And children were frequently killed and maimed at the workplace. I'd like to point out that "back then" radium was prescribed as a wonder drug (it is extremely lethal in small doses), cocaine and methamphetamines were considered good for your health and we lined our homes with asbestos. We did a lot of really stupid things "back then," child labor included.

    Quote:
    It was good thing to help them earn some extra money for the summer so they can buy that bike or baseball cards.

    Why don't you go read this article and tell me that child labor is a good thing. I'm sure the money those kids saved up was a great comfort to the families of all the dead children.

    Paper route at 14, fine by me. Industrial manufacturing at 14 (you know, what Foxconn does), absolutely not under any circumstances.

    Quote:
    We live in a really really sissified world now.

    Yeah, so sissified that we decided we didn't want to see any more children who lost limbs in machinery or suffer from crippling repetitive stress injuries before they start high school. So sissified that we decided to stop letting companies exploit the insanely low wages they can pay children. So sissified that we decided maybe companies shouldn't be allowed to make massive profits on the backs of children.
  • 1 Hide
    frombehind , October 17, 2012 3:32 PM
    slabboAge 14-15 should be allowed to work if they want to. We are babying everyone nowadays. Back then kids aged 10 and up worked on more dangerous farms all the time to help out, and this was even their own father and mother telling them to. It was good thing to help them earn some extra money for the summer so they can buy that bike or baseball cards. I don't see why interns can't be 14+, they don't do jack shit anyway. I would have loved to check out and work at a electronics factory to see how all our stuff is made when I was 14. We live in a really really sissified world now.

    I live in America and I worked the summer in a grocery store when I was 14 and 15 in order to help with the family budget... Whats wrong with Chinese kids working to help put food on the table? I seriously doubt they were dragged off in chains and held in cages and then whipped if they didn't meet their "quota"
  • -1 Hide
    spookyman , October 17, 2012 3:35 PM
    Oh come on..whats wrong with a little child labor?

    Someone has to work cheap in order to make my Ipad.

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