Print 19 comment(s) - last by Rott3nHIppi3.. on Oct 18 at 3:54 PM

The legal working age in China is 16 years old, but Foxconn hired children from 14-16 years of age as interns

Just when it seems like things couldn't get any worse at Foxconn, another occurrence is added to the list. This time, it's child labor. 
Foxconn has admitted that it hired underage interns at its Yantai facility in the Shandong Province. The legal working age in China is 16 years old, but an internal investigation uncovered that children from 14-16 years of age were interning at the Foxconn facility. 
The internal investigation came right after the watchdog group, China Labor Watch, outed Foxconn for the underage interns. The group said that it had proof, and that schools had sent the underage interns to Foxconn to work. However, Foxconn failed to check the IDs of the students to make sure they were of legal age.
"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," said Foxconn in a statement. "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."
Other more grim reports have been coming out of China about Foxconn as well, saying that the electronics assembly plants have forced interns to produce devices, such as the iPhone, in order to receive full academic credit. Other reports have said that Foxconn forced overtime on the interns. Foxconn said the Fair Labor Association (FLA), which regularly audits the plants, found no such thing. 
About 2.7 percent of Foxconn's 1.2 million workers in China are interns. 
Foxconn has had plenty of employee issues over the past few years. Much of it has to do with poor working conditions, such as crowded dorms, dangerous working environments, too much overtime and little pay. This led many employees to commit suicide
The Foxconn factories even experienced explosions due to a build-up of aluminum dust, which was used to polish iPads. 
Earlier this year, Foxconn was called out by The New York Times in a report about its poor working conditions. The report specifically targeted Apple, saying that the tech giant did nothing while Foxconn continuously violated the company's code of conduct. Ever since, FLA audits have seen improvements in the way of overtime and pay, but clearly, Foxconn still needs some work. 

Source: CNET

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Made in USA...
By RabidDog on 10/16/2012 3:15:18 PM , Rating: 5
Apple can solve a lot of their labor problems by building thier products in the USA. To my understanding the products would cost 20% more if US labor were used. That $500 iPad would cost $600. If folks knew it was Made in USA, I don't think there would be a problem paying the extra cost. And the people employed may actual be customers.

RE: Made in USA...
By tayb on 10/16/2012 3:41:24 PM , Rating: 3
Acer, Amazon, Apple, Asus, Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Logitech, MS, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, and Vizio are all major customers for Foxconn. I seriously doubt the US market would be willing to pay an extra 20% for electronics.

Since you mentioned Apple in particular, a group actually tried to calculate it.

Apple currently makes a profit of $452 on each iPhone (a gross profit of 71.9%) thanks to its low labor costs in China, but in the U.S. that number would drop to $293 for each phone (a gross profit of less than 50%).

RE: Made in USA...
By Rukkian on 10/16/12, Rating: 0
RE: Made in USA...
By Samus on 10/17/2012 2:01:24 AM , Rating: 2
Apple is on record saying manufacturing the iPhone in the USA would effectively double its price, and I believe them. There's a big difference between $1/hour and $10-$15/hour, especially when you consider the iPhone 5 has an effective 17-man-hours assembly process because of its stupid complexity.

RE: Made in USA...
By Samus on 10/17/2012 2:03:18 AM , Rating: 2
This article has more detailed numbers than mine.

RE: Made in USA...
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 10/18/2012 3:54:16 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the cost of even having a business. Employee wages are one thing, but that doesn't factor in "diversity training," electric/water bills, health regulations, cafeteria costs, etc. Then, before you know it, the employees unionize and demand $30-$40 per hour and retirement pensions to boot.

You wanna get S**t done quickly and cheap... you use kids. Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom taught me that a long time ago (1984)!

RE: Made in USA...
By retrospooty on 10/16/2012 3:53:36 PM , Rating: 5
"If folks knew it was Made in USA, I don't think there would be a problem paying the extra cost."

Walmart and the entire industry they took over disagrees with you on that.

RE: Made in USA...
By xti on 10/16/2012 4:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
ditto, $100 bucks is a lot of mcdonalds i could buy, and right now they have the monopoly game. rather save the benji and not care that its made overseas.

RE: Made in USA...
By name99 on 10/16/2012 3:57:48 PM , Rating: 3
So your point is what, exactly? How is this an "Apple labor problem"?

RE: Made in USA...
By UnauthorisedAccess on 10/16/2012 6:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
...what about countries other than the USA?

There might be a lot of patriotic North Americans willing to buy 'USA', though that feeling isn't felt around the world.

I know that I avoid buying goods from the USA (cars and produce, for example), while I do actively seek to purchase goods produced from my own country.

RE: Made in USA...
By Mint on 10/17/2012 1:18:14 AM , Rating: 2
That 20% figure is WAY off.

First of all, the iPad doesn't cost $500 to build, it's estimated to cost ~$250. What's more is that labor costs for assembly are estimated to be on the order of $10.

All the components that are built mainly by machines could be shipped to the US. Even if the labor cost was doubled in the US, we're talking about a 4% increase in cost for Apple.

It's really sad that a company with such huge gross margins doesn't take that initiative, and that their customers doesn't care either.

RE: Made in USA...
By inperfectdarkness on 10/17/2012 4:45:30 AM , Rating: 2

Apple could make them in the USA and still charge $500 for them and reduce it's margins from 33% down to 15% and still turn a tidy profit--only this way, customers wouldn't be getting ripped off. (...well, at least as much as buying an apple product goes...)

RE: Made in USA...
By Azethoth on 10/17/2012 7:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
You are obviously completely ignorant of supply chain realities. Steve Jobs wants you to know that "those jobs are never coming back".

LOL - The picture is classic
By retrospooty on 10/16/2012 2:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
The groups of people with "I love Foxconn" Tshirts all have the most apathetic looks on their faces. "I gould go back to work, or I could die right now, I rally dont care"

RE: LOL - The picture is classic
By Integral9 on 10/16/2012 4:29:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it's like a North Korean military parade before the cameras start rolling....

RE: LOL - The picture is classic
By kattanna on 10/17/2012 10:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
it also doesnt look like any of them are 14-16 years old either

also.. who actually enjoys company pictures??


By Rott3nHIppi3 on 10/18/2012 3:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like the cast for that Japanese version of "Hunger Games." The chick to the center-right is cute, but I'm picking the tall dude in the red hat to win it all!!

What a SHOCKER !
By Beenthere on 10/16/2012 6:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
Whodda thought that Foxconn would illegally employ child labor? After all they already have 1 million illegal slaves. You'd think that would be bad enough but I guess not.

RE: What a SHOCKER !
By stimudent on 10/17/2012 12:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
China has Labor laws?

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

Latest Headlines
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki