Posts Tagged ‘child labour’

Apple linked with child labour, suicide and worse

February 15th, 2011 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple logo rainbow 6 color 260x300 Apple linked with child labour, suicide and worse

Last year, Apple audited the companies that supplied for them. Sadly for the Jobsian lot, the resultant report made for some grim reading. Apple found instances of underage labour, unsafe working conditions, lack of first-aid supplies, improper handling of hazardous chemicals, excessive recruitment fees and more.

The report states that Apple have stopped dealing with one particular facility thanks to the management there, who “presented falsified payroll records and provided misleading interview answers to Apple’s audit team” while another “offered cash to Apple’s third-party auditors, asking them to reduce the number of audit findings.”

Last year, Apple hired 91 underage workers via facilities who don’t mind a bit of child labour. “We determined management had chosen to overlook the issue and was not committed to addressing the problem,” the report says of that facility, adding: “Apple has terminated business with the facility.”

They’ve not given the boot to all companies though. At one supplier,”a facility manager assembled workers and told them to provide false wage payment information to Apple auditors.” Rather than axe the firm, Apple merely asked them to produce the actual records and asked that the management staff received better training.

Another section of the report looks at illegal practises concerning chemicals used in logo production while another touches on the spate of suicides and reports of maltreatment at Foxconn‘s plant in Shenzhen, China. Apple met with Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, which resulted in the commissioning a team of suicide-prevention experts to “conduct a deeper investigation into the suicides, evaluate Foxconn’s response, and recommend strategies for supporting workers’ mental health in the future.”

Of course, this is a piece of self-promotion from Apple who are very pleased with themselves for attempting to hack through the dreadful working conditions of electronics around the world. Apple are pretty much the only company auditing their suppliers in this manner, which is creditable, even if it furthers that sense of smugness that emits from each Apple device.

apple logo rainbow 6 color 260x300 Apple stuff made by ickle Chinese children while irate Mexican workers burn down Mac factoryAttention Apple users! You probably think you’re so smug don’t you, with your iPods and your iPhones and your this and that and the sleekly-designed other. Well you’re not. Because all of your aesthetically-pleasing gizmos are built by CHILD SLAVES!

Yes, they’re ALL assembled in Far Eastern caves by 999 blind nine-year-olds who work at lightning speeds for fear of getting a good hiding from the riding crop of the evil henchman who runs the gaff.

Suicide rates are at an all-time high and work-related stress statistics are so huge that they cannot be accurately measured. And all of this so that you can play Peggle on your frigging iPhone on the bus to work in the mornings. Still feeling smug are you? Well?

g 080522 hlt crying baby 11a.widec 267x300 Apple stuff made by ickle Chinese children while irate Mexican workers burn down Mac factory

A crying child, yesterday

Of course, we’ve exaggerated just a smidgeon there, but the truth is that child workers have been discovered to be earning illicit corn working for Apple in their Chinese manufacturing plants. Eleven 15-year olds to be precise, as discovered during an Apple audit of its supply companies. The minimum work age in China is 16.

In fact, it’s all going a bit tits up for Apple at the moment when it comes to some of their supply sources. A Reuters reporter was allegedly roughed up by guards outside a Foxconn factory in Guanlan, China, where Apple gear is manufactured and Foxconn workers in Mexico recently burned down part of their factory where Macs and iPods are believed to be assembled, because they were pissed off at the management.

Interesting – certainly beats nicking the stationary and making your toilet breaks drag out for longer than is really necessary.