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.
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.
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.
Yes, and the point is, US consumers were finding it distasteful that Apple was exploiting child labor, as much as these same people would object to seeing child labor exploited at home.
So Apple is doing what it has to do, to fix its image back home. Which they must do to avoid putting off a whole lot of potential customers.
The other way to look at it might be, is it truly a matter of "lucky rich country"? Or is "rich" the result of hard-learned policies?
I think both ... if Hitler and Stalin were not so much psychopathic US might end up in a very bad place, or at least: not so good ... The number of detailed "whys" is just too big for the format here...
I am glad that Apple is doing something, I am not sure if it really helps the kids or hurts them. The key is that someone is doing something and maybe if everyone got on board the problem would be greatly reduced. I do not know the laws / school policies in China but I can't imagine that it is a good thing for the kids growing up without an education.
Half the room says "America the richest country in the world lets human rights violations take place and does nothing" the other half of the room ask why America is always interfering with the way other governments run their countries. Apple has the same problem. Apple is being called on to do what the U.S. government should be doing.
This is the problem of the category: "damnend if you do, but damned if you don't". I would say that we should take into consideration what are the norms of the other country so we do not impose our standards on what it is a sovereign entity, after all some of US standards seem bizarre in other countries (you can handle weapons before you can legally drink?!). Then of course we are free to deem some of the foreign practices as wholy unacceptable (fit to be married when 6?!) ... We could stick to the international standards, but it would help if we stopped torpedoing them frequently (yep, we do it!)
Hmm, China is a communist socialist country. It, like all former regimes of this nature professes equality for all its citizens and essentially, plays "mother and father" to all. It is a totalitarian regime. It is the Chinese Governments responsibility for the welfare of its people. It is the Chinese Government that sanctions and directly benefits from the use of child labour. I say good on Apple and others for taking a stand on their own moral grounds, this is not a side job mowing the lawns, this IS child labour, supported and sanctioned by the Chinese government.