Despite documentary on ABC, it seems that Apple and Foxconn still need to do a lot get an image makeover.
According to an interview conducted by Apple Insider, Foxconn had used advance knowledge of recent audits by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to hide underage workers from auditors.
More specifically, the report addressed the issue of 16 and 17 year olds who are permitted to work under Apple’s supplier code of conduct if allowed under local laws as long as the Apple complied with special restrictions on types and duration of their work. SACOM’s project officer Debby Sze Wan said that she heard that all underage workers were not assigned any overtime work and some of them were even sent to other departments during the duration of the FLA inspections. Other workers reported that Foxconn had relaxed many policies such as by adding additional break periods ahead of audits.
The FLA president Auret Van Heerden told Nightline’s Bill Weir that his group expected to receive “a show” when it arrived for its audits. However, the interview techniques amongst other strategies helped dig beneath the surface to find more accurate representations of working conditions. Apparently with the notice of the show, they may not have been able to get all the inside information. There were allegations that local Chinese governments in some cases forced schools to send their students to Foxconn for internships despite the work being completely outside of their field of study.We can only hope if anyone will bring more insight to the lime light and if anything will be done about it.
We would like to remind our readers that Apple and Foxconn are not the only ones with labor issues but rather Apple’s high-profile presence and Foxconn’s role as its largest manufacturing partner that puts the spotlight on the two companies. The public statements by Apple and its attempts of transparency have also contributed to the focused attention that it is experiencing with Foxconn.