Child Labour Used In Apple Factories

Consumer electronics giant, Apple, has admitted that teenagers have worked on some of its products in factories although all of them reached the minimum age of employment, 16, at the time of the audit.

The Supplier Responsibility 2010 Progress Report, compiled by Apple itself as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme, did not disclose the names of the factories involved or where they are geographically located.

But the fact that most of Apple's products are manufactured in China leaves little doubt as to where these law infringements took place. The use of employees under the legal age is one of the many issues that the report found.

Amongst others are excessively long working hours including shifts of 10 hours at a time or 60 hours per week, which are a gross violation of the Chinese Labour law; these rise up to 77 hours a week during peak season.

Worst still is the fact that nearly a quarter of the 102 factories included in Apple's survey did not even pay the minimum Chinese wage of 800 Yuan (or £76) per month.

The Telegraph's Malcolm Moore, who has been following Apple's stance on these violations, says that although the company has adopted the right approach by getting an annual audit done, it is not doing enough to change the way things work.

Our Comments

Even if Apple has admitted using child labour in these factories, it is unlikely that it will have any impact on its sales. Unfortunately, users are seldom moved by such events and the fact that Apple has managed to keep its prices checked and its shareholders happy is probably what counts.

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