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Child labour uncovered in Apple's supply chain

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01-25-2013, 11:29 PM
  #1
Lost Horizons
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Child labour uncovered in Apple's supply chain

Child labour uncovered in Apple's supply chain

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Apple has discovered multiple cases of child labour in its supply chain, including one Chinese company that employed 74 children under the age of 16, in the latest controversy over the technology giant's manufacturing methods.

An internal audit found a flipside to the western consumer's insatiable thirst for innovative and competitively priced gadgets. It uncovered 106 cases of underage labour being used at Apple suppliers last year and 70 cases historically. The report follows a series of worker suicides over working conditions at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles must-have products such as the iPad and iPhone, and lethal explosions at other plants.

Apple's annual supplier report – which monitors nearly 400 suppliers – found that children were employed at 11 factories involved in making its products. A number of them had been recruited using forged identity papers.


Last edited by Mike Emrick: 01-26-2013 at 12:59 PM.
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01-25-2013, 11:48 PM
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karnige
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not surprising. apple knew for years and are only doing this to save face.

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01-26-2013, 09:49 AM
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Orpheus
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Ultimately, the majority of major news outlets will not care and even if it does get picked up, people will still buy their products anyways.

The supply chain bit is interesting though, because most tech companies now go through China, as well as the big three console manufacturers, meaning this is probably far more widespread.

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01-26-2013, 11:25 AM
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Yeah, as much as I hate Apple I doubt this is isolated to just them.

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01-26-2013, 12:56 PM
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LickTheEnvelope
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Not an apple fan but seriously if you're running factories in China, especially on that scale, there's a good chance you have child employees to some degree.

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01-26-2013, 02:30 PM
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Prairie Habs
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Under 16 is child labour? I had a job before I was 16...

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01-26-2013, 02:31 PM
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At least Apple is going to correct the problem.

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01-26-2013, 02:44 PM
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RandV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LickTheEnvelope View Post
Not an apple fan but seriously if you're running factories in China, especially on that scale, there's a good chance you have child employees to some degree.
Pretty much... if you're outsourcing your labour to developing and 3rd world countries there's only so much oversight you can give, and some of these places are going to have their own shady techniques to skim some money off the top from the back of the workers.

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01-26-2013, 04:09 PM
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Old
01-26-2013, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairie Habs View Post
Under 16 is child labour? I had a job before I was 16...
Same here, I started working on weekend and during the summer at a fruit and vegetable store when I was 14....good ole Octofruit.

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01-26-2013, 04:36 PM
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LickTheEnvelope
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Frankly i'd be more concerned about working conditions than if their are children working... maybe that's just me?

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01-26-2013, 05:51 PM
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To be fair it's really hard to tell how old they are.

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01-26-2013, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by LickTheEnvelope View Post
Frankly i'd be more concerned about working conditions than if their are children working... maybe that's just me?
I absolutely agree. See the story about Foxconn installing nets on the outside of their buildings so workers (who sleep at the factory) can't kill themselves?

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01-26-2013, 06:05 PM
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I absolutely agree. See the story about Foxconn installing nets on the outside of their buildings so workers (who sleep at the factory) can't kill themselves?
That must be a terrible job.Although, having your work/home combined must be a huge time/money saver(I am now imagining a large room, with wall to wall bunk beds with only a couple feet between, with floor drawers under the bottom and a few things hanging off the backs/sides)

Oh yeah, and there is lost of child labour in second/third world countries. Not everyone can have the living standards of Canada and East Europe(not including Russia/ukraine)

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01-26-2013, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Prairie Habs View Post
Under 16 is child labour? I had a job before I was 16...


There's a difference between flipping burgers 15 hours a week at Mcdonalds , and working 18 hour days under severe working conditions and someone watching your every move . Not to mention the 10 cents an hour vs the 10$ an hour .

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01-26-2013, 10:17 PM
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There's a difference between flipping burgers 15 hours a week at Mcdonalds , and working 18 hour days under severe working conditions and someone watching your every move . Not to mention the 10 cents an hour vs the 10$ an hour .
The age makes a big difference too - just because in China, 16 is the legal age, it doesn't mean the underagers were all 15... they could very well have been 13 or 12 or 9, and working under miserable conditions.

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01-26-2013, 11:51 PM
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There's a difference between flipping burgers 15 hours a week at Mcdonalds , and working 18 hour days under severe working conditions and someone watching your every move . Not to mention the 10 cents an hour vs the 10$ an hour .
$1.00/hour (which is more realistic but still wrong) vs $10/hour is apples to oranges based on cost of living.

Ya it's 'too low' but if it wasn't that low none of those people would have jobs...

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01-27-2013, 12:27 AM
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Same here, I started working on weekend and during the summer at a fruit and vegetable store when I was 14....good ole Octofruit.
Here in PA, you can work at 14, it just has to be during the summer, and during no other time.

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Old
01-27-2013, 12:32 AM
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So what?

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01-27-2013, 06:26 PM
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We first-worlders just love to judge the way of life in other cultures. I suppose that we'd prefer that the children starve, instead. They work because they have to to put food on the table. It's sad, but taking these paying jobs away from the kids doesn't solve the problem; it makes it worse. As a few have suggested, other factors, like working conditions and hours, are more important. Employing children, itself, is no sin. We did it, ourselves, until we progressed to the point where we had the luxury of no longer needing it. Now, we just condemn other cultures that are in similar stages of development as we were in when we practiced it.

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01-27-2013, 06:40 PM
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We first-worlders just love to judge the way of life in other cultures. I suppose that we'd prefer that the children starve, instead. They work because they have to to put food on the table. It's sad, but taking these paying jobs away from the kids doesn't solve the problem; it makes it worse. As a few have suggested, other factors, like working conditions and hours, are more important. Employing children, itself, is no sin. We did it, ourselves, until we progressed to the point where we had the luxury of no longer needing it. Now, we just condemn other cultures that are in similar stages of development as we were in when we practiced it.
That in no way makes child labour right, it just means the solution isn't nearly as simple as taking the jobs away. Typically, the conditions you mention also go hand in hand with child labour. You could just as easily argue that the people work the poor conditions because they need the job, and we are being judgmental first worlders to judge a society that's in that stage of development, and it's still just as much of a cop out.

The reality is, if we really want to do our part to end some of these practices, we as consumers need to inform ourselves of things like fair trade practices and policies, and do our best to support corporations that engage in them, and not others that don't. If we create the demand for products and services that are provided in such a way, such products and services will surface. It also means that we will likely need to be willing to pay a premium in order to have them. If we aren't, as consumers, we are driving the problem.

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Old
01-27-2013, 10:38 PM
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LickTheEnvelope
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Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
That in no way makes child labour right, it just means the solution isn't nearly as simple as taking the jobs away. Typically, the conditions you mention also go hand in hand with child labour. You could just as easily argue that the people work the poor conditions because they need the job, and we are being judgmental first worlders to judge a society that's in that stage of development, and it's still just as much of a cop out.

The reality is, if we really want to do our part to end some of these practices, we as consumers need to inform ourselves of things like fair trade practices and policies, and do our best to support corporations that engage in them, and not others that don't. If we create the demand for products and services that are provided in such a way, such products and services will surface. It also means that we will likely need to be willing to pay a premium in order to have them. If we aren't, as consumers, we are driving the problem.
That is a steep steep premium though.

Just think if Apple pulled production from China and moved it western... expect your Iphone to cost $2000 +.

There's no way they could compete with Korean manufacturers like Samsung and LG.

Some industries it is certainly possible, very tough to do in mass-market high-tech though.

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Old
01-27-2013, 11:05 PM
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Frankie Spankie
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I thought using child labor was supposed to make the prices for your products somewhat reasonable.

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01-27-2013, 11:05 PM
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Jussi
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Apple needs to hide their child labour better.

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Old
01-27-2013, 11:33 PM
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LickTheEnvelope
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I thought using child labor was supposed to make the prices for your products somewhat reasonable.
Or to make Apple more money.

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