Apple uses child labor

Apple report reveals child labor

Those who buy a new iPhone or iPod rarely think about the conditions under which the devices were actually created. The new Apple report reveals weaknesses in the supply chain. Child labor was discovered and it was found that the supplier factories are negligent in handling dangerous chemicals.

In the 127 companies examined, 37 irregularities were discovered, Apple said in its report on working conditions at suppliers. The IT group from Cupertino, California has published its "Supplier Responsibility Report" for the fifth time since 2007.

The black sheep among the suppliers is still Foxconn. Last year there were quite a few media reports about suicides in the factory. Tim Cook, representative of the healthily ailing Apple boss Steve Jobs, personally traveled to China to examine the plant in Shenzhen. Together with the management of Foxconn, measures have been taken to avoid suicides, reports Apple. This includes social support for the mostly very young employees.

Rip off migrant workers

The report clearly shows that the working conditions of many Apple suppliers abroad do not appear to meet Western standards. Apple found that ten suppliers employed a total of 91 underage employees - 42 of them with a single supplier. According to Apple, the collaboration with this company has ended.

Many Asian contract manufacturers also work with so-called migrant workers from other countries who are forced to go abroad to support their families. These are downright ripped off by the employer, for example by having to pay very high rents for their accommodation. Apple was able to achieve that a total of 3.4 million dollars is repaid to the affected employees.

Badly ventilated rooms and toxic chemicals

In one company, 137 workers were exposed to the chemical n-hexane in very poorly ventilated rooms, which was said to have been harmful to their health. The supplier was ordered to provide better ventilated rooms and no longer to use the chemical.

Apple further stated in the report that the procurement channels for raw materials such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold are also being examined. The main aim here is to ensure that these are not imported from states in which they are used to finance armed conflicts.

The contract manufacturers examined by Apple usually supply several IT companies - but Apple in particular is always in the line of fire of the critics, as the group is very successful worldwide with its iPhones and iPads.