Foxconn just can’t seem to catch a break these days. The supplier to Apple, and Apple themselves, have been in trouble before because of accusations of employing underage workers. Then last week, Foxconn had several employees walk off the job upset with the increased quality control demands. Now they are being forced to admit that they have had underage workers at their facility.
In what seems like a very strange practice, it’s being reported that the youngsters originally arrived at the facility via their school, sent there as “interns.” The students must have felt they were on a really long field trip. Foxconn didn’t properly identify these children. A labor organization sees the primary fault with the school, but believes Foxconn should have some responsibility in the issue as well.
This isn’t the first allegation of this type of thing for Foxconn. The company and Apple have been dealing with several allegations regarding the workforce for some time. Although this particular facility that had the “interns” working for them doesn’t manufacture for Apple, it certainly won’t stop the scuttlebutt that has surrounded them about their workforce.
Foxconn also had employees walk off the job recently upset with increased quality control over the Apple products. The grip was tightened on the employees with these increasing standards, but they weren’t trained properly on how to execute it, increasing their stress and leading to their walkout.
As for the recent allegations, Foxconn is promising, “Any Foxconn employee found, through our investigation, to be responsible for these violations will have their employment immediately terminated. We recognize that full responsibility for these violations rests with our company and we have apologized to each of the students for our role in this action.”
For its part, Apple is saying, “We require suppliers to return underage workers to school and pay educational expenses, living stipends, and lost wages for six months or until the worker reaches the age of 16, whichever is longer. We also ensure that students have the support they need to succeed in school. We help students contact their families, identify educational options, and enroll in school — and we follow up on their progress. If underage workers have already left the facility, we try to locate them and offer the same support for their education.”
These are great promises from both companies, but somehow, I doubt it will stop the allegations, rumors, and innuendos.
Photo credit: nytimes.com