Foxconn admits to hiring interns as young as 14 years old

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Foxconn on Tuesday revealed an internal investigation found the company illegally hired some underage workers as young as 14 years old, and said that immediate measures have been taken to resolve the issue.

In a statement provided to CNet, Foxconn said some of the interns working at its Yantai facility in Shandong Province ranged in age from 14 to 16 years old. Those employees were hired illegally, as China's legal minimum working age is 16.

Foxconn said the company takes "full responsibility" for the violations. Officials have also apologized to each of the students. The company also vowed to "immediately" terminate any employee who was responsible for the underage hirings.

"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," Foxconn's statement reads. "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."

Foxconn


The electronics assembly company was quick to issue a statement after workers' rights advocacy group China Labor Watch published its own press release revealing that Foxconn had hired interns between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. The group said a "small number of student interns employed in the summer" were underage workers.

"These underage interns were mainly sent to Foxconn by schools, but Foxconn did not check the IDs of these young interns," China Labor Watch said. "The schools involved in this incident should take primary (responsibility), but Foxconn is also culpable for not confirming the ages of their workers."

Foxconn is responsible for the assembly of electronics for a number of companies, but its relationship with Apple has come under particular scrutiny as Apple's popular iPhone and iPad have made the company the largest in the world by market capitalization.

Apple conducts its own annual audits of its overseas suppliers, and in 2011 it found that one facility had employed 42 underage workers. Business with that provider was immediately terminated. A report published earlier this year found no evidence of underage labor in 229 audits.

Tim Cook at Foxconn


But in February, some Foxconn workers claimed that their company had hidden underage employees before an independent audit was conducted by the Fair Labor Association. The workers were allegedly transferred to other departments or were not scheduled to work overtime in order to avoid discovery during recent inspections, the non-governmental organization Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior claimed.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook personally visited a new Foxconn iPhone plant during a trip to Zhengzhou, China, in March. Foxconn employs 120,000 people at the facility visited by Cook.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    Uh-oh!
  • Reply 2 of 28
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Interngate!!!
  • Reply 3 of 28
    It is good when kids learn how to work as a part of their school education. It is much better than learning to drug themselves. I'd only welcome if some kids worked in their holidays somewhere. That gives them a good sense of how the value in life is created.
  • Reply 4 of 28


    And now I can hear the roar of the approaching herd of trolls.


     


    image

  • Reply 5 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Perfectionist View Post



    It is good when kids learn how to work as a part of their school education. It is much better than learning to drug themselves. I'd only welcome if some kids worked in their holidays somewhere. That gives them a good sense of how the value in life is created.


    You have a point there, but still it's good that Foxconn takes some steps to prevent this in the future.

  • Reply 6 of 28
    mcrsmcrs Posts: 172member


    So, AI please tells me something we don't already know about business practices in China? I thought all Apple's manufacturing partners were immune to any labor abuses, and that's one of the reasons why i-gadget users pay premium for Apple products. Premium prices = premium treatment to laborers? No? 

  • Reply 7 of 28
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    There legal minimum working age is 16yo? I started working legally in the US at 14yo. At 15yo I was biking 5 miles one way to get a crappy minimum wage job serving food in an old folks home in the evenings and weekends. How can I sue Apple for this?
  • Reply 8 of 28
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    Unfortunately those practices happen in all countries, and may be more common in China. It's a good thing that they acknowledge that and are doing something about it.
  • Reply 9 of 28
    gustavgustav Posts: 823member
    I was working at 14 years old stocking shelves in a store in Canada. 5 hour shifts on weekday evenings, 9 hour shifts on weekends.
  • Reply 10 of 28


  • Reply 11 of 28
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gustav wrote: »
    I was working at 14 years old stocking shelves in a store in Canada. 5 hour shifts on weekday evenings, 9 hour shifts on weekends.

    I don't know how old you are but this was around 1990 for me. Not exactly the turn of the industrial age in the US. I saved up thousands of dollars by the time I was 16yo despite minimum being like $3.15 hour or something like that.. In no way do I regret that experience. In fact I'm grateful that someone gave me the opportunity to focus my energy and steer toward a financial goal.
  • Reply 12 of 28
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member


    I started working around 12 or maybe 13 with a paper route - and yes it was work.


     


    Worked at my church/school at 13 doing odd jobs such as painting, cleaning, changing light ballasts, raking leaves etc.


     


    Started working my first "real" job about a month before my 14th birthday at a local Drug Store chain, at $3.60 an hour - sweeping floors, stocking shelves, etc. Started just one night a week and weekends and worked my way up to Pharmacy Tech and Assistant Manager over the years. Saved enough by 16 to buy my first car, a 1964 Pontiac GTO, which I still have almost 30 years later.


     
  • Reply 13 of 28
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member


    (with an old voice, possibly texan)


    I started working loading coal into trains when I was 9. Then that damn electricity came.

     

  • Reply 14 of 28
    dbtincdbtinc Posts: 134member
    Help me understand - what's the problem?
  • Reply 15 of 28
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dbtinc View Post



    Help me understand - what's the problem?


     


    There is none.

  • Reply 16 of 28
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    Let me guess:


     


    1. Apple is doing the most to stop this, and is the most open with the public when problems happen.


     


    2. Tons of other companies use Foxconn, and other Chinese firms, do nothing, and sweep it all under the rug.


     


    3. Yet this is somehow an Apple problem specifically. Somehow Apple is not the solution, but the problem. Better boycott Apple and buy gadgets from some other Foxconn partner instead!

  • Reply 17 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


     


    There is none.



     


    Mike Daisey will MAKE it a problem.

  • Reply 18 of 28
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


     


    There is none.



    Of course, just because it's legal to work in the US under 16 means that every country that has a different law is stupid, and that FOXCONN shoudn't try to remain inside the legal boundaries.

  • Reply 19 of 28
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post


    Of course, just because it's legal to work in the US under 16 means that every country that has a different law is stupid, and that FOXCONN shoudn't try to remain inside the legal boundaries.



     


    What is your point?

  • Reply 20 of 28
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member


    Checking in. image

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