The last thing Foxconn
needs right now is more negative publicity over working conditions at its factories in China, but it seems the iPhone manufacturer just can't seem to help itself. Foxconn's self-inflicted black eye this time around comes from fessing up that it hired underage interns at one of its facilities, some of which were found to be as young as 14 years old.
According to a report in USA Today
, Foxconn claims it was made aware of the underage interns via a company investigation at a factory in Yantai. China's minimum legal working age is 16, and those found to be younger than that were sent back to their schools, Foxconn said. The electronics manufacturer also apologized for the oversight, and said it would take action against whoever is found to have hired the underage workers.
"We recognize that full responsibility for these violations rests with our company and we have apologized to each of the students for our role in this action," Foxconn said. "Any Foxconn employee found, through our investigation, to be responsible for these violations will have their employment immediately terminated."
Sub par working conditions at Foxconn have been a recurring theme the past couple of years. Workers in the past have taken their own lives rather than continue to earn low pay while working long hours. As for hiring students, it was reported in September
that Foxconn brought in college kids from nearby institutions to help get ready for the iPhone 5 launch.