Apple Fesses Up to Underage Labor Violations

The Internet is abuzz this morning over Apple's "2010 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report." In it are some 24 pages detailing the results of Apple's self-imposed audit of all of its suppliers to ensure that each one meets the company's "Supplier Code of Conduct." What has the Internet swarming with activity is this little tidbit:

"Apple discovered three facilities that had previously hired 15-year-old workers in countries where the minimum age for employment is 16. Across the three facilities, our auditors found records of 11 workers who had been hired prior to reaching the legal age, although the workers were no longer underage or no longer in active employment at the time of our audit."

While the underage labor has been receiving the most attention, there were several other violations of note, including excessive recruitment fees, suppliers contracting with non-certified vendors for hazardous waste disposal, and even three cases of providing falsified records during the audit. Breaking these down into sub-categories, the list goes on, including working hours violations in 60 facilities, improperly calculated overtime wages, a lack of anti-discrimination measures during the hiring process, and several more.

Not to make a mountain out of a mole hill, Apple's data suggests that 98 percent of its suppliers that were assessed by auditors are within full compliance of the company's Code of Conduct. But even still, the long list of violations is pretty staggering.

You can read the full report here (PDF).
Tags:  Apple, iPhone, law, labor