Foxconn, a major supplier to technology companies such as Apple and Microsoft, admitted Tuesday that it hired 14-year-old interns, breaking Chinese law.
The company’s Yantai factory is at fault, having employed a number of interns under the legal age of 16 for three weeks. Foxconn says that the facility that hired the interns does not deal with Apple products, and that it is launching an investigations into the decision and those behind it. It also mentioned that this is not only against Chinese law, but Foxconn policy.
The internship program, according to the statement, lasts for anywhere between three and six months long, and bring in roughly 2.7 percent of the company’s 1.2 million strong workforce.
It seems Foxconn has been riding on a wave of bad news for the past year. It was recently audited by the Fair Labor Association when Apple was accused of treating its factory workers poorly. The audit found a number of workplace practices in violation of the law.
Soon after the launch of the iPhone 5, incidents broke out amongst Foxconn employees, including a fight that was only broken up by law enforcement, who sent some employees for medical treatment. Soon thereafter, thousands of Foxconn employees went on strike outside of the factory. A release by the China Labor Watch suggested the protests were directly related to heightened quality demands that caused so much tension among the employees that fights broke out between quality insurance inspectors and the assembly line. The China Labor Watch also said the protests disrupted the factory’s production of iPhone 5s.
Copyright 2012, VentureBeat