Apple’s seventh annual Supplier Responsibilities report has revealed that one of its suppliers violated their underage labor policy 74 times. Following the revelation, Apple cut all ties with China-based Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics and reported the labor agency responsible for the violations to local authorities.
The agency in question, Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources, allegedly helped families falsify age verification documents in order to secure jobs for children. The agency has since had its license suspended and was issued a fine. The children in question have all been returned to their families at the cost of the supplier.
According to the report, Apple conducted 393 audits across its supply chain last year; a 72 percent increase from 2011. Cupertino said the audits covered things like employee recruitment, business practices and environmental and operations safety procedures.
Overall, Apple said they found an average 92 percent supplier compliance relating to the maximum 60-hour work week. A year ago, that same statistic was only at 38 percent. The company now tracks more than a million workers in the supply chain. Tracking statistics are reportedly posted on a monthly basis on their website.
Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams told Bloomberg that underage labor is a subject no company wants to be associated with. As a result, he doesn’t believe it gets the attention it deserves which means it doesn’t get taken care of like it should.