Apple reveals increasing child labor problem
2/21/2011 8:59 AM EST
In 2010 Apple audited 127 facilities and found 91 cases of underage labor, including 31 workers who had been hired prior to reaching the legal age, but were no longer underage or who were no longer employed at the time of the audit. One facility alone was responsible for 42 underage workers, Apple said, adding that it had terminated business with the facility. Apple did not name the company.
In other instances Apple has required the suppliers to return the young people to their families and support their return to school while continuing to pay them until they reach 16 years of age. Apple said it has also required the suppliers to improve their management, such as labor recruitment practices and age-verification procedures, to prevent recurrences.
Other "core violations" discovered by Apple included where workers had paid excessive fees to recruitment agencies to be selected to work for an Apple supplier. Apple said that a total $3.4 million has been repaid to workers who had been exploited in that way since 2008. There were only two core violations on health and safety issues.