Foxconn Admits to using Child LaborWe've suspected that Foxconn isn't the fine, upstanding company they purport themselves to be. After all, the company came to the public's attention after a slew of suicides and riots. But now we have confirmation that the company has been using underaged laborers.
China prevents children under the age of 16 from working at places like Foxconn. And yet, when the company did an internal investigation, trainees were found as young as 14, two full years younger than labor laws permit.
Foxconn, for their part, did report this situation to the press as soon as it came to light. They told CNet that "this is not only a violation of China's labor law, it is also a violation of Foxconn policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions."
It looks like there might be some organizational differences in Foxconn. We've already seen that some factories are more likely to riot, and others more likely to have suicides. Now we know that management is (at least seemingly) unaware of labor violations, and that the violations bothered corporate enough for them to bring it to the international press.
Apparently, these children were sent to Foxconn by schools, and Foxconn failed to check their ID's. China Labor Watch notes that while Foxconn isn't completely in the clear, it is the schools which should take primary responsibility for the violation.
Said the company of the violation,
We are also carrying out a full investigation, in cooperation with the respective educational institutions, to determine how this happened and the actions that must be taken by our company to ensure that it can never happen again.
Still, Foxconn has been at the center of far too many labor disputes. I'm beginning to wonder when hardware vendors will decide that enough is enough.