Apple cuts ties with supplier hiring underage workers

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foxconn-employees.jpgFair play to Apple. The company has stuck to its word and severed ties to one of its suppliers, Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics (PZ), found to be employing underage workers, as well as reporting them to the appropriate authorities.

Not content with sending children to work, the supplier facilitated the illegal employment by conspiring with the kids’ families to provide falsified documents claiming to make the youngsters eligible to work.

In a statement, Apple revealed that:

“In January 2012 […] we audited a supplier, Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co., Ltd. (PZ) that produces a standard circuit board component used by many other companies in many industries. Our auditors were dismayed to discover 74 cases of workers under age 16–a core violation of our Code of Conduct. As a result, we terminated our business relationship with PZ.”

“The children were returned to their families, and PZ was required to pay expenses to facilitate their successful return,” continues the Apple report.

“In addition, the company that subcontracted its work to PZ was prompted by our findings to audit its other subcontractors for underage labour violations – proving that one discovery can have far-reaching impact.”

The move follows last year’s investigation by the Fair Labor Association into Apple’s supply chain, with Apple conducting 393 independent audits last year as a result – a 72% increase on 2011.

Gerald Lynch