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.