Recently, the company Apple, well known for its Mac, iPod and iPhone products, issued a report on its suppliers and how well they perform in respect to the guidelines they were given by the Cupertino-based company. Worryingly, the report revealed that three suppliers used by Apple had been employing eleven 15 year old workers in total, with one even covering it up to prevent any issues.
Amongst the discoveries of underage labor were also reports of 50 factories keeping workers busy for longer than is allowed (60 hours per week), along with 24 paying employees less than minimum wage. According to Gizmodo, only 61% factories met the required safety standards, and a frighteningly low 57% had the appropriate environmental permits. Some argue that 15 years old is more of a legal issue than a moral one, as in the United States, many 15 year olds are employed at various workplaces.
While undesirable working conditions for vast amounts of people are certainly troubling, there is more to it: most of the suppliers that were audited by Apple revealed that this was the first and only time it had happened to them, with a large amount of other companies seemingly absent in regard to the supplier responsibility (or irresponsibility, as the case may be, though keep in mind that there are still huge amounts of companies that do ensure good standards). Last year, Apple audited a grand total of 133,000 workers, up from a mere 2,000 in 2007, showing that the company is doing its part in order to provide a safe workplace for those who make its products. Either way you look at it, it doesn't bode well for Apple and other related companies, though at least an effort is being made to help make the workplaces safer and simply better in general.
Thanks to Shayla for the tip