Apple's child labour discovery
Audit reveals major issues in supply chain
Apple has discovered several cases of child labour in its supply chain. In one instance a company employed 74 children under the age of 16. This supplier has now being ditched by Apple.
An audit for the company carried out by the Fair Labor Association uncovered 106 cases of under-age labour being used at Apple suppliers last year and 70 cases historically.
Apple's annual supplier report – which monitors nearly 400 suppliers – found that children were employed at 11 factories involved in making its products.
The report uncovered an array of other offences, including mandatory pregnancy tests, bonded workers whose wages are confiscated to pay off debts imposed by recruitment agencies was found at 8 factories, juveniles being used to lift heavy goods, workers having their wages docked as a punishment and one factory dumping waste oil in the toilets.
Apple ordered suppliers to carry out a number of corrective actions, including:
- returning minors to a school chosen by their family, pay for their education, and give them an income equal to their factory wages.
- reimburse excessive recruitment fees – anything higher than one month's wages – and said $6.4m (£4m) was handed back to contract workers in 2012.
- reimbursement of employees at 90 facilities that deducted wages to punish workers
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