For the second time in as many years, Apple has admitted that children have been found working in its factories.
In its annual report to suppliers, Apple said at least 11 15-year old children had been discovered working in its manufacturing plants, although the tech giant refused to say just which factories were involved. Reports in The Telegraph suggest the three sites are most likely in China, though Apple also has factories in the US, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, the Czech Republic.
“In each of the three facilities, we required a review of all employment records for the year as well as a complete analysis of the hiring process to clarify how underage people had been able to gain employment,” Apple said in its report.
The firm has also discovered that a number of its plant employees are breaking the firm’s rule that bans anyone working more than 60 hours a week. Apple said that more than half of its 102 factories are allowing their staff to work beyond this limit, one of the sites even going as far as to falsify its records to cover-up both the extra work hours and child labor.
“When we investigated, we uncovered records and conducted worker interviews that revealed excessive working hours and seven days of continuous work,” Apple stated, confirming that its contract with the unnamed factory had been terminated.
To top it all off, the report also concluded that only 65 percent of Apple’s factories having been paying their staff the correct wages and benefits. 24 even pay below China’s minimum wage of 800 yuan (around $117) a month.
The news follows a similar admission made by Apple back in 2008. At that time, the company admitted 25 children had been found in its iPhone, iPod, and Mac plants.
[Via The Telegraph]