Foxconn Accused of Hiding Underaged Workers From Audit Inspectors
According to an interview conducted by Apple Insider
, Foxconn used advance knowledge of recent audits by the Fair Labor Association to hide underage workers from auditors. More specifically, the report addresses the issue of 16 and 17 year olds who are permitted to work under Apple’s supplier code of conduct if allowed under local laws as long as the company obeys special restrictions on types and duration of their work. SACOM’s project officer Debby Sze Wan said she heard that all underage workers were not assigned any overtime work and some of them were even sent to other departments during the duration of the FLA inspections. Other workers reported that Foxconn had relaxed certain policies such as by adding additional break periods ahead of audits.
The FLA president Auret Van Heerden told Nightline’s Bill Weir that his group typically expects to receive “a show” when it arrives for its audits but the interview techniques amongst other strategies help dig beneath the surface to find more accurate representations of working conditions. Apparently with the notice of the show, they aren't able to get all the inside information. It was also being alleged that local Chinese governments have in some cases forced schools to send their students to Foxconn for internships despite the work being completely outside of their field of study. We’ll have to wait and see if anyone will bring more insight to the lime light and if anything will be done about it.
It should be noted that these two companies aren’t the only ones with labor issues but rather Apple’s high-profile presence and Foxconn’s role as its largest manufacturing partner that puts the spotlight on the two companies. Apple’s public statements and attempts of transparency have also contributed to the focused attention that both companies are experiencing.
Source: Apple Insider