Foxconn confirms underage workers employed at factory

By on October 16, 2012, 3:30 PM

In August, an organization by the name of China Labor Watch blew the whistle on Foxconn for employing children who claimed to be under the age of 16 -- China's legal working age. Today, we discover Foxconn's subsequent investigation into the matter has confirmed rumors of underage employees.

Although perhaps most famous for its partnership with Apple, Foxconn is actually the behind-the-scenes manufacturer for many U.S. products and companies. Because of their close relationship, Apple has taken numerous blows over the years as Foxconn continues to be accused of poor working conditions, a series of issues which have incited riots, protests and have even been blamed for worker suicides.

The workers, who are actually interns, were found to be as young as 14 years of age. Not only does this defy Chinese labor laws but Foxconn's own internal policies as well, the manufacturer claims. The company says it has corrected the issue and will take measures to ensure this type of misemployment never happens again.

CLW blames Foxconn for turning a blind eye and not sufficiently vetting its workers, but the factory wasn't the only party responsible. As it turns out, the underage workers were actually sent to Foxconn through an internship program. The educational institutions responsible for sending those underage workers to Foxconn also share a great deal of blame, CLW argues.

According to Cnet, interns were told to help assemble iPhone accessories or forfeit potential school credits. The interns were given $244 per month and if they failed to meet their tasks on-time, they purportedly had to work overtime to fulfill their obligations. A monthly wage of $244 is the same base wage junior production workers earned several months ago. Foxconn gave workers a substantial raise during the summer though. Junior production members now start out at $283.




User Comments: 24

Got something to say? Post a comment
treeski treeski said:

Getting very tired of Foxconn...

Gareis Gareis said:

Getting very tired of Foxconn...

Getting very tired of china...

p51d007 said:

Gotta have that iJunk though

Guest said:

Its very nice to see a company employ people who need it and give young people a great chance and opportunity to advance themselves. Wish the young kids here in the western world had the same work ethic. Maybe if they did the country wouldn't be in the shambles it is now.

Guest said:

Qoute: Gotta have that iJunk though

This is Foxconn, not Apple. Read the article. If you wish you be specific, it doesn't say which factory so it could very well be dell, Microsoft, HP, or any number of the hundreds of companies that contract out to Foxconn for all there electronic board manufacturing.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Really wish that I could live off of $244 a month! That figure is my gasoline costs to drive work each month.

treeski treeski said:

Its very nice to see a company employ people who need it and give young people a great chance and opportunity to advance themselves. Wish the young kids here in the western world had the same work ethic. Maybe if they did the country wouldn't be in the shambles it is now.

Did you even read the article? The kids were forced to work there. If they didn't, they would lose credit for classes.

treetops treetops said:

Ever since I saw the atrocities foxconn bestows on its workers while watching the daily show with John Stewart, I swore to never buy a apple product. They have suicide nets outside the factory walls to catch jumpers.

China's Foxconn houses employees who work 35-hour shifts at 31 cents an hour, thereby saving American technology companies money. Go up to like the 2 minute mark if you don't like politics.

[link]

Camikazi said:

Ever since I saw the atrocities foxconn bestows on its workers while watching the daily show with John Stewart, I swore to never buy a apple product. They have suicide nets outside the factory walls to catch jumpers.

China's Foxconn houses employees who work 35-hour shifts at 31 cents an hour, thereby saving American technology companies money. Go up to like the 2 minute mark if you don't like politics.

[link]

Just a little bit of an FYI, Foxconn makes products for many companies all over the world, not just Apple and not just American companies. Not buying Apple may make you feel better but you are more than likely already supporting Foxconn with many, many purchases. Not supporting Foxconn is much easier said than done considering how many little parts for so many products they make, it might not even be possible to not use Foxconn at all really.

avoidz avoidz said:

Qoute: Gotta have that iJunk though

This is Foxconn, not Apple. Read the article. If you wish you be specific, it doesn't say which factory so it could very well be dell, Microsoft, HP, or any number of the hundreds of companies that contract out to Foxconn for all there electronic board manufacturing.

Although the article does specifically single out Apple: "interns were told to help assemble iPhone accessories or forfeit potential school credits."

Like supermarket meat products, we don't like to think about the production process that goes into the end results. But supply and demand and all that. What's the alternative, not use any electronic devices?

Gareis Gareis said:

Like supermarket meat products, we don't like to think about the production process that goes into the end results. But supply and demand and all that. What's the alternative, not use any electronic devices?

There's many alternatives, starting with hiring more adults, or decreasing production and output, what's a few thousand less components a day, it certainly won't, or at least shouldn't, kill a company that size.

Are you condoning this behavior?

1 person liked this | avoidz avoidz said:

There's many alternatives, starting with hiring more adults, or decreasing production and output, what's a few thousand less components a day, it certainly won't, or at least shouldn't, kill a company that size.

Are you condoning this behavior?

No, I don't condone it. I think the working conditions in those sweatshops over there are horrible. Big companies keep using and abusing them. But I still have to use electronic products. Maybe they should bring the jobs back to the west.

Gareis Gareis said:

No, I don't condone it. I think the working conditions in those sweatshops over there are horrible. Big companies keep using and abusing them. But I still have to use electronic products. Maybe they should bring the jobs back to the west.

I definitely agree with bringing production back to the west, the unemployment rate is so high, that they wouldn't have to offer much higher an hour over here if they were not required to by law.

Guest said:

I just bought a I-shuffle to replace my other china-made SanDisk Sansa Clip- the power button broke after a few months, and after that eventually it crapped out. In order to tolerate my hellish existence doing slave labor. Something doesn't feel right here...

PinothyJ said:

Ron Swanson would be so proud...

treeski treeski said:

quote="Guest, post: 1242175"]Quote:

treeskisaid:

Did you even read the article? The kids were forced to work there. If they didn't, they would lose credit for classes.

Even here in Canada and the USA, schools, universities, and trade houses all have "prerequisites" that you need to do before you are granted credit for certain corses. This is the same thing. Don't let "article sensationalism" get to you. Your blood pressure will thank you.

You're right, schools and universities do have prerequisites that you need to do earn the credit... but they don't involve assembling phones and they DON'T happen when you are 14 years old. It's fine if you're old enough...

Amigosdefox said:

The reason Apple and other companies have their parts made in China has little to do with wages.

Bringing jobs back to the west might be more difficult than you think.

[link]

Guest said:

It's China.....communism "It just works". It's a little mind boggling that these company's(all of them not just apple) are shipping parts or having the parts made over sea's, across the border or where ever and having the finished product shipped back and sold just to save a few bucks, times that by Millions of units being sold....company's aren't going to stop anytime soon.

Seriously..when's the last time you flipped something over and It said "Made In America" on It????

Guest said:

"Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. "

"the nation has stopped training enough people in the mid-level skills that factories need, executives say. "

"They had built on-site dormitories so employees would be available 24 hours a day."

""They could hire 3,000 people overnight," said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple's worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. "What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?"

""The entire supply chain is in China now," said another former high-ranking Apple executive. "You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That's the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours."

Clearly, we should start by giving incentives to small and large businesses/corporations. If they manufacture a product on American soil, they get more benefits. Over time (and it could be a while) American products should become more readily available. If these businesses/corps EXPORT products made in the U.S., it should not cost them (at least not much) to do so. AFTER US products are more available, we can look at other factors such as imports and see where to go from there.

As highly populated as China is and as little rights they have, it would still be difficult to compete. For someone wanting to start a company in the US, this will at least make it much more possible and they WILL be more likely to stay should they become successful. This all keeps money circulating in our own economy. Instead of a US consumer purchasing a product, having most of that money going to the company, and then having the rest trickle down to foreign employees something different could happen. The consumer purchases the product, the company still gets most of the money (which is possible), and then another US consumer gets paid. If products are manufactured here and sold overseas, WE get THEIR money too.

Guest said:

To all guests who disagree that apple and obviously other US companies who manufacturing their parts in China: it is clear that all of you don't know anything nor even have any idea.. I suggest learn more before posting whole crappy comments..

treetops treetops said:

An ipod would cost 23% more if not made in china foxcon sweat shops. Boycotting known foxconn products would send a message. I think people wouldn't mind paying 23% more to get rid of these sweat shops and bring jobs back to America or wherever, just out of sweat shops thanks.

Guest said:

Good luck boycotting foxcon:

courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn

Major customers of Foxconn currently include:

Tedster Tedster, Techspot old timer....., said:

Probably the same "adults" who performed in the Olympics....

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.