According to a report from AppleInsider, employees of Foxconn are claiming the manufacturer took steps to hide underage workers during a recent inspection by the Fair Labor Association. The claim emanates from Debby Sze Wan Chan, a project officer from Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior. Chan spoke with two Foxconn employees who relayed the information about the company being “prepared for the investigation“.
“All underage workers, between 16-17 years old, were not assigned any overtime work and some of them were even sent to other departments,” communicated Chan. Workers also mentioned a three-fold increase in breaks during the inspection.
Apple does allow for Foxconn to employ workers of this age, but have set forth additional protections in their supplier responsibility mandate for those between the ages of 16 to 18.
Preventing underage labor is only part of our efforts. We also monitor the treatment of workers who are old enough to work legally but are younger than 18. We don’t allow these workers to perform some types of work, even in cases where local laws allow it. Our standards also require factories to adhere to student labor laws and to ensure that schools and universities follow the laws as well, which is particularly important as factories increasingly turn to these institutions for student interns.