Apple Busts Supplier for Underage Labor in Latest Responsibility Report

Published on January 24, 2013
by John Paczkowski

apple_supplier_reponsibilityApple issued its latest Supplier Responsibility Report Thursday evening, offering an update on worker protections and factory conditions at its manufacturing partners. This year’s report, Apple’s seventh, included 339 audits throughout the company’s supply chain — a 72 percent increase over its 2011 report.

Among the report’s highlights: Apple increased supplier compliance with a maximum 60-hour work week to 92 percent. It busted a number of facilities for not paying proper overtime premiums. Finally, it severed its relationship with Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics (PZ), a widely used circuit board component manufacturer, after discovering 74 underage labor violations. And it worked with the Chinese government to return those children to their families.

From the report:

But we didn’t stop there. We also learned that one of the region’s largest labor agencies, Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources Co., Ltd. (Quanshun), which is registered in both the Shenzhen and Henan provinces, was responsible for knowingly providing the children to PZ.

In fact, to obtain the workers, this agency conspired with families to forge age verification documents and make the workers seem older than they were.
We also alerted the provincial governments to the actions of Quanshun. The agency had its business license suspended and was fined. The children were returned to their families, and PZ was required to pay expenses to facilitate their successful return. In addition, the company that subcontracted its work to PZ was prompted by our findings to audit its other subcontractors for underage labor violations—proving that one discovery can have far-reaching impact.

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