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Foxconn Allegedly Hid Underage Workers During Inspection

Debby Sze Wan Chan, project officer of Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), alleged in a recent interview that Foxconn moved its underage workers to other departments, or did not scheduled them to work at all, when the Fair Labor Association (FLA) made its Apple-commissioned inspections last week.

The news arrives by way of two Foxconn workers stationed in Zhenghou who said the company "prepared for the inspection" beforehand. They told Chan that those aged 16 and 17 were not assigned any overtime work that day while others in the same age group were shuffled off to other departments.

Another Foxconn worker, stationed in Chengdu, also told Chan that she is now allowed three breaks a day thanks to the FLA audit. Prior to the inspection, she was only allowed one break per day (actual hours were not provided). That said, all three workers seemingly back up a comment by FLA president Auret van Heerden who said he expected Foxconn to put on a show. That expectation may be why the FLA will conduct "bottom up interviews" as part of the audit.

Yet despite the FLA stating that Foxconn's facilities were "first class," something seemingly must be going on. Chan claims that many Foxconn workers think Apple just really doesn't care because company representatives have actually seen labor violations during their visits, but have elected to do absolutely nothing about them.

"The workers just feedback that they don't feel this [care]," she said, referring to Tim Cook's letter which said Apple cares about every worker in the supply chain. "Most of the time, the workers are aware of the presence of Apple's representatives inside the factories. It is not the problem that Apple doesn't know the real problems at their suppliers. They know, but it is only because they do not care."

Chan added her own personal experience in the interview, claiming that SACOM drafted a petition calling for Apple to end the use of student workers and other hot topics, but has yet to receive a reply after two years. Even more, she's tried to contact the company numerous times and even made personal appearances at the Apple Ranch (Cupertino) in attempt to deliver reports, petition cards and documentaries. However the front desk consistently refuses to take any SACOM material.

"Finally, a security guard tried to disperse us and he promised that he would hand the materials to someone in charge, but I haven't heard from them since then," she said.

On Tuesday, SACOM protesters headed into an Apple Store located in Hong Kong, carrying a petition from Sum of Us. Unsurprisingly, no one from the company would accept it.

To read the full interview, head here.

  • captaincharisma
    all aplle fanbois want is the iphone 5 and the maxipad 3. they don't care if an 8 year old or a 40 year old assembles it. just like the nike crowd
    Reply
  • pacioli
    Some people like their products made by underaged workers...
    Reply
  • Does anyone really wonder anymore why American companies are flinging money at China? No worker protection, no environmental protection, nothing at all to get in the way of massive profits. And the Chinese government doesn't care, this is all a bid to be become a world powerhouse, and we're feeding that ambition to make a few extra bucks. I bet we'll all be surprised when China takes over the world. But at least our companies' stockholders will have made a few extra bucks while selling out the future...
    Reply
  • aftcomet
    captaincharismaall aplle fanbois want is the iphone 5 and the maxipad 3. they don't care if an 8 year old or a 40 year old assembles it. just like the nike crowd
    This is China's problem. Why do people think everything is America's problem? Why does any company have a duty to ensure how its suppliers are doing business? It's not like Apple projects this humanitarian, green image, so what's the problem?

    Blame the Chinese government for not doing anything. But no, this of course is 100% Apple's fault. The Chinese government is filled with angels.
    Reply
  • aftcomet
    Seriously, all China is good for is cheap labor. Without it, they wouldn't be close to the position that they are now so I don't see this stopping anytime soon.
    Reply
  • As components get smaller, they will need tinier and tinier children assembling their products...
    Reply
  • qhoa1385
    I'm not surpise
    Reply
  • shardey
    This shouldn't just be targeted toward Apple, considering there are dozens of other companies that use foxconn and should also step up.

    I mean I wouldn't want to pay American workers to make an iPad, that thing would cost well over $1000
    Reply
  • I would be happy to buy apple products, if they bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA. They have more cash reserves than what the US government has, so it shouldn't be much of a financial excuse to do so. Look at intel, they still build factories in the US and making high quality products at a profit.
    Reply
  • xkm1948
    doubleargDoes anyone really wonder anymore why American companies are flinging money at China? No worker protection, no environmental protection, nothing at all to get in the way of massive profits. And the Chinese government doesn't care, this is all a bid to be become a world powerhouse, and we're feeding that ambition to make a few extra bucks. I bet we'll all be surprised when China takes over the world. But at least our companies' stockholders will have made a few extra bucks while selling out the future...

    Chinese has no intention to take over the world. Now they are more concerned about how to survive their completely polluted environment.
    Reply