Apple is stepping up efforts to improve its image by showing that its campaign to support fair labor practices has some teeth.
Apple said that in many
cases underage workers are brought into a company by a third-party labor
agent that "willfully and illegally recruited young workers." In the
case of Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics, Apple said it learned
that one of the region’s largest labor agencies, Shenzhen Quanshun
Human Resources Co., Ltd., was responsible for knowingly providing the
underage employees. Apple said it alerted government authorities of
The underage children were returned to their
families, and Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics was required to
pay expenses to facilitate their successful return, Apple said.
will continue to argue that Apple's sudden crusade to ensure fair labor
practices for the people that build its very successful products is a
facade meant only to prop up the company's image. They may also question
how hard Apple is truly looking for violations.
Both are fair
points, particularly the first one. Apple has its own reasons for
promoting fair labor practices, and they have very little to do with
fairness and justice. Apple needs to be vigilant to prevent backlash
from the buying public, who while continuing to snap up Apple products
at a record pace is also (to some degree) developing a conscience about
how those products are made.
But give Apple credit. Whether its
reasons are altruistic or not, Apple is the only electronics company
that appears to be doing anything about stamping out unfair labor
practices in China and other developing countries. Most companies are
more than happy to look the other way.
Well Dylan, you seem very focused on Apple per se and how Apple are cleaning their image.
But you mention nothing about the follow up of what will happen to the workers that have just lost their jobs? Any redundancy money by Apple?
Probably they will be forced to work in less favourable conditions since their family are depending on them for income.
Quite an ignorant minded article if I may say!
It isn't Apple's responsibility to compensate employees that are working illegally and get caught if Apple didn't hire them (either directly or indirectly "knowingly"). If anything, that should be the responsibility of the company that did hire them in the first place. How is that any different than, say, the US Federal Government penalizing companies for hiring illegal immigrants? Should the Federal Government then compensate the illegals that lost their jobs?
What are the laws in China in regard to age? I'm not saying one should consider local values in regard to dealing with non-national corporations, but it shouldn't be the only consideration. If I recall correctly, people in China aren't required to go through the equivalent of 12th grade over there (and it may not even be publicly tax-payer supported like it is in the USA). So, if these people are doing jobs that don't require the high level of education and skill, and are trying to support themselves (or their families) honestly and because they currently can't afford further education, ... then how is it 'right' to terminate their employment.
What's wrong with starting to work at 14,15, or 16? I started working ~12-13 years old, delivering newspaper, mowing lawn, snow plowing, etc. I learned early on that it's a hard way to make $, so I decided to study a little harder and was the first in my family to go to college and earn an engineering degree.
Positive news on the child labor front should be celebrated. I have no doubt that there are adults in China seeking employment and the children have a better chance to get an education. It will take time but the news of this decision by Apple will surely be heard far beyond the walls of the company that was directly impacted.
I was wondering the same thing. Like GeLy said below, I too started working long before age 16. It was part-time of course, and school was top priority. In many states, American youth are not legally required to attend school past age 16.