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Chinese Supplier Gets Dumped By Apple For Fraudulently Using Underage Labor

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the didn't-ask-for-her-license dept.

China 206

jones_supa writes "Another report from Apple regarding Chinese labor practices surfaces. After conducting its 2011 audits to 339 sites, the company found that cases of underage labor had jumped from 6 to 74 in one year. It was concentrated in a single circuit board manufacturer, which Apple says was willfully conspiring with families to forge age-verification documents. According to a new report, Apple didn't find any cases of underage workers at its final assembly suppliers in 2012, but it plans to continue going deeper into the supply chain to ferret out violators. We are talking about Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co., with which Apple has now terminated its relationship."

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it's the children that suffer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709493)

Hooray, instead of working they now can live on the street and starve to death.

They wouldn't be hungry if they learned how to (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709555)

wok the dog.

Re:it's the children that suffer (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709573)

Indeed. The choice in places like this isn't slaving away for 22 hours a day in a Dickensian nightmare vs. kicking balls around in a field with butterflies and songbirds.

It's working in a factory vs. living in grinding poverty that makes Appalachian nightmares look like Bill Gates' guest house. The West lifted themselves out of this, now China is.

Imagine someone from the Galactic Federation pulling into orbit in 1850 and hauling out vicious criticism of England. No friend of humanity, that's for sure. If what you care about is actual measurements of well-being, which exploded thanks to factories at that time...vs. grinding poverty, not vs. imaginations of butterflied fields.

Re:it's the children that suffer (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709719)

While it is undeniable that a combination of superior machinery and fossil fuels kicked off an era of unprecedented prosperity for humans on average, there are a couple of complicating factors to consider, both boiling down to distribution issues:

The most obvious one is that child labor(since it is usually cheaper, and since children in the workforce raise the total supply of labor) tends to depress wages and reduce the slice of the industrial prosperity that accrues to the workers(especially in per-labor-hour terms). Certainly, it will generally be the case that a given household will be better off with an additional salary(especially if something prevents one or both parents from working, like being unskilled, infirm, dead, etc.); but workers as a group are better off if children are removed from the labor force, reducing labor supply and allowing children to accrue education and other human capital. Part of the "West lifted themselves out of this" process was precisely the eventual success of the working class and any allies swayed by moral sentiment in legally forcing restrictions on child labor across the board. Since, structurally, such restrictions are essentially a cartel arrangement(since any individual defector will be better off through violating the agreement; but the group as a whole wins if nobody violates it), it more or less had to be done by force of law.

Second consideration involves looking at whatever conditions in the agricultural sector are sucking so much that a ready supply of child factory workers exists. England had its 'Enclosure Movement', which helped swell the supply of impecunious urbanites. I'm less familiar with the Chinese case; but the disparity between urban and rural conditions there is pretty remarkable.

Re:it's the children that suffer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709849)

1. Your argument that removing children from the labor pool aids workers because it raises wages and reduces labor supply would apply without limit to the adult working population as well. Removing women from the labor pool, removing half of all men from the labor pool, reducing everyone but a few from the labor pool, would follow the same argument that this benefits the workers.

2. You argue that workers benefit if they maximize the slice of industrial prosperity that accrues to them. In that case, who is going to invest in new factories? Because I am pretty sure that was how factory owners spent much of their wealth. Or are you saying that new factories are not beneficial to workers?

Re:it's the children that suffer (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710059)

1. Very few arguments apply 'without limit', and this one certainly doesn't. In broad strokes, it starts to break down once the supply of jobs available(given the narrowed definition of the labor pool) falls below the number of economic entities who need incomes(depending on the prevailing social arrangements, such entities might be individuals, nuclear families, extended families, or other). Exactly what equilibrium point is reached in practice is mostly empirical: child labor, at least outside the family, seems to have few moralists on its side and tends to significantly retard education, so it often gets the chop. Limits on working hours are another means of reducing the labor supply that has achieved broad adoption and popularity.

Restrictions on individuals within the adult population definitely exist; but tend to be carved out by much more idiosyncratic means; formally-illicit-but-common discrimination against certain groups, various professional exams and licenses, that sort of thing. Because they tend to badly fail the 'number of jobs roughly equals number of economic entities' rule, wholesale restrictions typically only achieve support if the group excluded is supposed to be a member of some already employed entity(exclusion of women, say, becomes deeply problematic if single-income families are not the ideal and the norm) or if the exclusion is from a specific profession rather than from the workforce entirely.

2. As with sellers of any other good, sellers of labor who wish to maximize their slice of the pie are striving to hit the optimal compromise between units sold and price per unit: If you simply gave labor away, you'd sure see a lot of new factories; but it wouldn't help you much. If you charge $1,000/hr, you probably won't have a job. Some number of new factories is clearly beneficial to workers; but the returns aren't unbounded: If the additional demand for labor produced by lowering its price doesn't make up for the lower price(and loss of time you could be using for other things) it isn't terribly helpful. Exactly how many factories constitutes a local optimum is, naturally, a messy empirical question.

Re:it's the children that suffer (2, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710533)

Limits on working hours are another means of reducing the labor supply that has achieved broad adoption and popularity.

At initial glance you'd think something like that increases wages and reduces unemployment, but in practice it does neither, and in fact results in the opposite in all cases of implementation. It's pretty easy to see why when you consider a few things:

As I explained in another post, the economy, and even resources in general, aren't a zero-sum-game. There is no "pie". By artificially decreasing the supply in labor, you're also decreasing the supply of goods produced. For necessity goods, this generally results in higher prices and therefore lower demand. In the end, the supplier will probably see the same revenue as they did before, only now there are fewer goods produced. But that's just for that one closed system; it also impacts the economy in other ways.

Due to lower availability of necessity goods, say capital goods like construction equipment, the construction companies will now find that it is harder to get contracts due to higher prices that fewer people can afford. This means that they have to lay off employees. Now that we have increased unemployment, we also have reduced consumer spending, which eventually ripples back around to the original company that made the construction equipment.

Now you might say that since these people work less, surely other people will take over where they stopped working. It doesn't work out that way in practice. I'm sure you've run across your fair share of people who either simply don't want to work, or just downright do their job half-assed. What you're doing is pushing these people into jobs that they otherwise wouldn't take, and likewise your production doesn't increase in the same way it would if the other workers could simply work as many hours as they wanted to.

This is why, for example, after France instituted the 35 hours a week limit, their GDP saw a decline and their unemployment rate increased. It absolutely did not result in what they had planned on.

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710191)

So, since we know that drinking 50 gallons of water in a day is fatal, the only rational conclusion is that we must never consume water in any form?

Likewise for point 2, there is a balance to be struck. Workers never breaking even while owners never want for anything ain't it.

Re:it's the children that suffer (2, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710325)

There's no "pie" to slice from, unless that pie dynamically shrinks and grows (it's not a zero-sum-game.) If you're a regular slashdot reader, I'm sure your familiar with the concept that a pirated song isn't a lost sale. If somebody didn't want to spend the money to buy it anyways, they still wouldn't have bought it. When you lower the price, you increase demand. In the case of a song, free is a pretty low price. As an anecdote, I recall one time a soda machine was misconfigured to sell sodas for 5 cents, and when people in my class found out, they all went to buy a soda where they wouldn't have otherwise. Anyways, if you accept that principle, then lets carry it over to physical luxury goods (which are what these factories produce, such as iphones.)

These same rules apply to labor, and likewise, decreasing the supply of labor doesn't (typically) result in higher wages when it comes to luxury goods, rather it most often results in lower supply, therefore higher prices, and therefore less demand (remember, people who already didn't want to pay the cheaper price still wouldn't have bought it anyways, and now even fewer people will buy it.) Overall, your revenue declines, and you still have the same number of employees, so you can't raise their wages even if you wanted to (and remember, you have lower demand, so your demand for more workers is also reduced.)

Often times even in short supply, the price won't go up. A real-world example of that is when e.g. the iphone, or the nexus 4 as a more recent example, although there isn't enough supply, they don't raise the prices because the demand will fall (that and it spells bad PR for the company.) And remember, these are Chinese made, so taking the kids out of the workforce again doesn't help wages any.

Now increasing the supply of labor does lower the prices for necessities that people are willing to buy with almost no concern of the price, like petroleum, but China doesn't deal in many of those goods. And if they did raise the price that much, they wouldn't hold their position very long. The reason why is because China holds their position entirely due to how cheap they can make stuff, and if they couldn't make stuff as cheaply, then other countries would compete (and readily so due to the west's general distrust of Chinese goods.) So in any case, you still don't increase the wages.

To add to that, in rural China there isn't much in the way of education.

Re:it's the children that suffer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710407)

s/children/blacks and mexicans/g;

Now you're a racist.

Re:it's the children that suffer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709829)

I don't know wtf you're saying. I don't think you do either.

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709875)

those factories where fed in plenty and cheaply by raw materials that were practically acquired for free from enslavement of africans and looting of the rest of the world raw materials.

Re:it's the children that suffer (5, Insightful)

poity (465672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709927)

China is a bit behind, but it isn't in the 1850's. Child labor (defined as employment of people under 16 years of age) is illegal, and there exists compulsory education for children (as best as can be implemented in practice, of course), the same as any modern country* I'm quite certain that Apple and the Chinese government are on the same page with regard to their moral/legal stance on child labor. What bugs me is that there's no mention of the local government taking charge on the issue, and that Apple is tasked with doing what the government should be doing.

*Translate with your preferred service:
http://china.findlaw.cn/laodongfa/zhuanti/tonggong/ [findlaw.cn]
http://baike.baidu.com/view/63809.htm [baidu.com]

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710007)

The question is whether the situation of the those children will in reality get better or worse by being "fired". It may well be that those children will still end up working, just in some other sweatshop that has even worse conditions, or that they will not go back to school but will be starving on the street. I can tell you for a fact that child labor in some African countries saves their lives from starvation or begging on the street (yes, those countries also have laws against child labor and compulsory education) and that same was true for example during the industrial revolution in Britain. I am not sure about the situation in China, which presumably is not as bad, so I can't make a moral judgment and, unless you have better evidence than I do, neither should you.

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710195)

China isn't exactly unified. The cities are, but much of the country is still rural - small villages, far from central government, where the law is a distant force and the local officials can easily look the other way.

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710321)

China isn't exactly unified. The cities are, but much of the country is still rural - small villages, far from central government, where the law is a distant force and the local officials can easily look the other way.

Add to this the well-known practice of bribing officials in China, the local government might already have been in the practice of looking the other way.

As bad as child labor is in the West, laws against it plus compulsory education ignore the real-life challenges such as starving while growing up or not having skilled jobs available in the area (which is a chicken / egg issue if there isn't skilled labor in the area to begin with). I do think Apple's efforts would minimize the practice and hope to see them continue seeking ethically-sourced (by Western standards) manufacturing.

Re:it's the children that suffer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710391)

Yeah, one of the reasons child labor existed during the Industrial Revolution was because there was a widespread expectation in the existing agricultural society that children would be working. One of the reasons school was not in session during the summer was so that kids could go work on the family farm during growing season.

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

v1 (525388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709989)

this level of unemployment cannot be fixed by manufacturers moving jobs around. stopping the populace from breeding like rabbits is about the only useful solution. There's a very good reason china is pushing for "one child per family". Their bean counters know how to do math, and see what's coming. It's a problem that takes a generation to manifest. They're already trying to head it off, yet they're already getting their feet wet in the problem. I'd say they took action right on time.

I also find it ironic that the thread has turned in this direction. Employ underage? you child-slaving monster! Don't employ underage? throwing them to the gutters to starve! damned if you do, damned if you don't.

It's not the employers that created this problem, and it's not within their power to fix. All they can do is move the shells around and make it look a little different from a static viewpoint.

Re:it's the children that suffer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710073)

Besides children like chimneys!

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710379)

It's working in a factory vs. living in grinding poverty that makes Appalachian nightmares look like Bill Gates' guest house

So why doesn't daddy go to work in the factory? Oh, right, they can hire his one child for half the price.

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

Marxdot (2699183) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710401)

Bollocks.

Re:it's the children that suffer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710499)

It doesn't matter if some little asian kid starves to death, as long as WE FEEL GOOD ABOUT OURSELVES for making meaningless gestures that won't do a thing to better the lives of the children we claim to care about.

Now apologize.

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710909)

I assume you do realize that you sound pretty much exactly like the rich factory owners of 19th century England and America criticizing the attempts at labor laws and unionization at the turn of the century and are making an ironic joke?

Re:it's the children that suffer (5, Insightful)

ernest.cunningham (972490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709773)

Read the article idiot!

When new violations are found, Apple requires its suppliers to return the workers back to a school chosen by the family and finance their education. "In addition, the children must continue to receive income matching what they received when they were employed. We also follow up regularly to ensure that the children remain in school and that the suppliers continue to uphold their financial commitment," wrote Apple in its latest report.

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710721)

So Apple requires all the children to stop working and go to school, and requires the supplier to pay them their previous wages. That just does wonders for the affected supplier, who now has a huge incentive to close down and start up under a new name. Or just take their existing profits and run. Ignorance of economics does not imply immunity to its laws.

Re:it's the children that suffer (4, Insightful)

vakuona (788200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710753)

Or it discourages them from employing underage workers.

Re:it's the children that suffer (1)

Copper Nikus (1615089) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709845)

Hooray, instead of working they now can live on the street and starve to death.

Not necessarily. According to TFA:

When new violations are found, Apple requires its suppliers to return the workers back to a school chosen by the family and finance their education. "In addition, the children must continue to receive income matching what they received when they were employed. We also follow up regularly to ensure that the children remain in school and that the suppliers continue to uphold their financial commitment," wrote Apple in its latest report.

Of course I have no idea if those lofty goals actually happen or not.

Re: it's the children that suffer (3, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709895)

Nice.
1) Forge your child's birth certificate (maybe bribe a local official, not uncommon)
2) Send your kid to work at a supplier to Apple
3) ... (Wait for the Apple labour inspectors)
4) Profit! (Tuition paid and a monthly stipend for the family)

Disconnect in step... (3)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709907)

2) Send your kid to work at a supplier to Apple ...which does not work because policies like this make most suppliers check for age before hiring anyone.

Re:Disconnect in step... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710205)

You just need to find a supplier that believes their document forging procedure is foolproof.

If it actually is foolproof, you can always tip Apple off about it.

about those schools, too.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709905)

And how do we know that the kids aren't now attending the "Guangzhou greater prosperity training school for future factory workers" where they notionally teach readin',ritin','rithmatic for an hour, and "hands on assembly training" for 6 hours.

Re:it's the children that suffer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710135)

Then they shouldnt have chosen to be born property. Oops I forgot it's the US were children are considered the property of the parents.

Re: it's the children that suffer (4, Informative)

davesag (140186) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710539)

From TFA

âoeWhen new violations are found, Apple requires its suppliers to return the workers back to a school chosen by the family and finance their education. "In addition, the children must continue to receive income matching what they received when they were employed. We also follow up regularly to ensure that the children remain in school and that the suppliers continue to uphold their financial commitment," wrote Apple in its latest report.â

Sorry to rain facts on your parade.

Re:it's the children that suffer (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710613)

Months ago, when talking about underage workers was all the rage, people were decrying Apple for profiting from child labor. Now that Apple is taking a strong stance against it, they're causing the children to suffer. Right, that's not biased.

Re:it's the children that suffer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710827)

Jesus somebody mod this up. The slashdot double-standard in place here is nuts.

Re:it's the children that suffer (5, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710919)

Hooray, instead of working they now can live on the street and starve to death.

Gotta love Slashdot. Its hatred is for Apple runs so deep, there are many here who would rather children be forced into labor than admit that Apple does something non-evil, or even (dare one say it!) something *good*.

Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709519)

That's got to be a mistranslation.

Re:Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709569)

My guess is it's written as (chinese character) Real Faith (chinese character) to appeal to foreign investors.

Re:Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co. (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709589)

Or a very ironic name, apparently!

Re:Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co. (3, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709813)

No, that sounds right. It has the city name and the type of business. Some of the words in company names describe abstract concepts that don't translate very well. If you shove them, they'll translate, but then you end up with Chinglish-y sounding names like this.

Re:Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710005)

chinese_company_name = $geo_location$ + $auspicious_word$ + $industrial_sector$ + "Company Ltd."

My concern... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709535)

Apple ends their business relationship with this manufacturer.

Does the company fold because Apple was their main client, everyone loses their jobs?
or
Does the company fire all the underage workers for failing to pass inspection?
or
Something else?

I'm assuming the families of these kids put them to work out of necessity, so what happens to these kids and their families now?

Re:My concern... (0, Redundant)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709579)

I'm assuming the families of these kids put them to work out of necessity, so what happens to these kids and their families now?

Most likely they starve. But at least they'll die happy in the knowledge that they're not being exploited by evil capitalists, and so long as they don't get on TV while they're dying, rich Westerners will tell each other how wonderful it is that they're preventing evil capitalist exploitation.

On the other hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709695)

The fact that their economy sucks and people are starving doesn't automatically justify us buying products that were built in a manner that directly conflicts with our values.

If we are willing to pay more for products built in accordance to our concept of fair labor practices (regardless of where they are built), then it makes sense that someone would provide such a product. In this case it is Apple, and they are just being dilligent about keeping their production process in line with their public claims.

Re:My concern... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709751)

And if we dind't buy the niggra slaves, dey mammy and pappy'd put 'em in the cookpots and eats dem all up. Dat's just how it is, so's you mights just as well buy you's dat sweet little niggra gal right dere as you's bedwarmer.

We've heard *exactly* this kind of excuse for slavery throughout written history. Try to find a new one.

Re:My concern... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709771)

what the fuck is going to make the typical slashdotter happy then? first you all complain about how apple uses chinese factories which exploit child labor; now you're saying they should do the opposite?

i'm convinced everyone on slashdot just likes to blast corporations they don't like for any possible reason, even if they don't actually believe in their supposed convictions. when you've got it good, complaining is easy because there's no consequences.

go ahead and mod me down now. fucking slashdot nerd filth.

Re:My concern... (3)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710129)

what the fuck is going to make the typical slashdotter happy then?

Companies paying a living wage, here and in China.

2012 was another record year for corporate profits, and a record for how little the people who actually do the work share in those profits.

Since 1979, worker productivity has increased by several hundred percent and their incomes didn't measurably increase. Somebody benefited from that increase in productivity.

go ahead and mod me down now. fucking slashdot nerd filth.

Governor Romney, you know you shouldn't be drinking this early on a Sunday.

Re:My concern... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710339)

uh, i agree with all that (i'm a liberal, thanks). the person i was replying to didn't make those points though.

They are making a living wage in China (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710341)

Companies paying a living wage, here and in China.

That's what Apple is doing already.

Apple is the ONLY company to give workers in China bonuses, and to make sure they don't work too much overtime. Workers in China are making less here, yet they are providing not just for themselves but for whole families.

Just how ignorant do you have to be to not understand that a living wage can differ drastically between countries?

Re:My concern... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710513)

You may be surprised to learn that "typical slashdotters" disagree with one another, so what makes one happy will piss another off.

Also, some slashdotters write posts that they don't actually agree with, but that they know will push the buttons of other slashdotters.

Once in a while a slashdotter will point out the unpleasant consequences of an action while still endorsing that action, too, since the good outweighs the bad.

Re:My concern... (3, Interesting)

Tennguin (553870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709591)

Some other hungry family gets to eat only this time an impressionable and vulnerable child isn't exploited in the process. There is a lot of need in the world, even right here in the United States.

Re:My concern... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709673)

Long story short, would you be equally concerned if Apple chose to discontinue their business relationship for any other reason? Apple will still need the products so those jobs will reappear other places that follow the rules. The only ones that really will be out of a job are those who are so young they shouldn't be working in the first place.

Re:My concern... (1)

Marxdot (2699183) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710525)

Having lost Apple's blessing, the company found to be using child labour goes out of business. Labour force of that former company generally moves to the new Apple-approved factory because that is where a glut of vacancies will open. [Adult] labour in that particular supply chain becomes more valuable because fewer workers are in that labour force (due of course to the absence of children), so the adult workers are paid proportionally more, so the adult workers needn't send children to toil in another factory in order to obtain a subsistence income.

That is what would happen if [labour] markets were as rational and smooth as the capital fetishists assert. It would be a flawless demonstration supply and demand. However, real life rarely demonstrates rationality, particularly not where exploitation is the rule; we can be sure that the managers and capitalists involved with the new factory will find other ways to take the piss, even in the absence of child labour.

Steve must be spinning in his grave. (-1, Troll)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709581)

I mean, he'd probably just say "excellent, give 'em all fuckin' lollipops."

what's "underage" (2, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709587)

how old were they, if poor teenagers want to help their families by earning some extra coin, better that than being punks in a street gang

Re:what's "underage" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710009)

Article translation: Apple PR demands supplier be dropped as child labour uncovered.

In other news: Apple would have done fuck all had it not hit the media.

Re:what's "underage" (1)

Goaway (82658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710233)

Exactly, except for where it is pretty much the exact opposite of that.

Re:what's "underage" (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710495)

well, probably old enough that forging the papers is an option.

but there's the kicker.. they're kids, not detached drone workers of the family.

Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709597)

So, America says kids cannot work with computers but woman are allowed to? Are you serious?

è

è'æ®

Children rejoicing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709651)

They will now no longer be held captive in those factories, but can enjoy freedom and a good childhood!

they go back to school , not on the street (5, Informative)

Inigo Montoya (31674) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709665)

Did anyone who's already posted even read the article? Apparently, the children are placed back at home and their education is completely financed by the violator. Apple follows-up regularly to make sure they are complying.

The child probably went to work in the first place because the family could not afford an education, so they had to choose between sending the child to school or putting food on the table. So now they can put the child back in school, and someone else in the family can work to put food on the table, and not have to worry about paying for an education for the child anymore.

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709721)

Did anyone who's already posted even read the article? ...

In case you haven't logged on Slashdot in the last decade, we don't read the articles before posting anymore.

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709727)

This is /. we don't come here to read the article.

We come to rage at the idiocy of others. We stay for getting a +5 Insightful.

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (5, Informative)

ernest.cunningham (972490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709755)

If you read the article further yourself, not only does the company have to pay for their education, but also pay the child the same wage it was earning!

To quote the article:
When new violations are found, Apple requires its suppliers to return the workers back to a school chosen by the family and finance their education. "In addition, the children must continue to receive income matching what they received when they were employed. We also follow up regularly to ensure that the children remain in school and that the suppliers continue to uphold their financial commitment," wrote Apple in its latest report.

I don't think anybody who has posted read the article at all.

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710581)

though now they terminated with that company so what does the company care?

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710797)

The company cares because they want Apple's business, and Apple cares because they don't want bad PR about using child labor.

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709881)

In China, isn't education free (government provided) and compulsory? Or did that end with Communism?

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (2)

areusche (1297613) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709955)

China is only communist in name, but not in practice. A lot of schools have "fees" associated with attending and the cost of which is generally not affordable for many people. A lot of children do not complete the compulsory 9 years of schooling. Take a look here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China#Compulsory_education_law [wikipedia.org]

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710423)

Having lived in communist Poland, I can tell you that this is what communism is about. The works of Marks and Lenin were pure lies even according to their authors. And since every single implementation of communism in history resembled the Animal Farm, you can't say they weren't "true communism". The whole design is wrong, not merely "good but broken by corrupt leaders".

Communism has only one real purpose: to give every layer of the Party power according to which layer you belong to. For example, the very top lives extravagant lives that puts western spendthrift celebrities to shame, and even lowly cogs whose loyalty was somehow important (like law enforcement) got much-envied privileges -- like so-called yellow drape shops that included goods you couldn't purchase elsewhere (compare with typical shops of that era [tvp.info] ).

Such fees like those people pay for reasonable schools in China are not some perversion of communism, they're something ubiquitous.

Of course, most of "capitalist" countries today are far from democracy or rule of law, with those in power doing anything they can to skew the system further in their favour, but as communism shows, things can go worse. Much, much worse.

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710761)

The whole design is wrong, not merely "good but broken by corrupt leaders".

s/wrong/working as intended by their authors rather than victims/

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709969)

Well, in countries like Spain school is free and mandatory, but then you have to pay for books (yeah, they make new ones every year here too so you can't recycle), food and transport. During the last decade in Spain many children went to work in the construction sector as underage labor force, and now that the construction sector blew up into crisis we have a good chunk of unemployment below ages 35, especially since many 20-somethings who lived great during the construction boom now can't even apply for a job due to lack of basic education.

Of course the reality of Spain's crisis is much more complex, but there you have it, mandatory school actually means "the government can't reject you from public school, but we don't care if you actually don't show up".

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710593)

completely financed by the violator

Who Apple has severed business relationships with, meaning they have pretty much no leverage to enforce any of these agreements. Meaning, "yeah sure, we'll pay tuition," *wink*, and 3 weeks later, the kid's out of school, working in another factory, because his family's need doesn't evaporate just because Apple and some rich westerners who think every kid should be treated as well as their little special boy Johnny is feel bad that the kid decided to make some money.

"Someone else in the family can work to put food on the table" - you assume that mommy and daddy are selling the kid into slavery so they can sit home and smoke crack. This is likely not the case. Likely, the family simply NEEDS the extra income to put food on the table, a roof over the family's head, and clothes on the childrens' backs. But don't let the fact that you're essentially sentencing a family to a life of poverty make you feel bad - i'm sure they'd greet you as a liberator if you got off your ass and actually went there to see how your economic imperialism has improved their lives by putting them in cardboard boxes under a bridge somewhere.

Re:they go back to school , not on the street (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710631)

Right, but to get this free education + continued income they have to first violate the labor rules and go to work for Apple.

Call me crazy, but doesn't this resolution basically encourage more children to do just that? In the hopes of being discovered and getting this neat little severance package. In the worst case, they aren't discovered and continue to have a paying job, and either of which are preferable to their previous standard of living which made child labor appealing in the first place. What this arrangement does is discourage *employers* from hiring child labor at all (as intended), but if successful in doing so it only serves to hurt those kids/families financially. All those people living in poverty are not covered by Apple's restitution policy if they never go to work in the first place.

In before Olympics reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709671)

That is all.

Lose-lose for Apple (0)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709693)

Apple stops using a supplier that employs underage workers: Apple is guilty of putting kids back on the mean streets and depriving families of much needed income.

Apple uses a supplier that employs underage workers: Apple is guilty of supporting child abuse.

Take your pick.

Re:Lose-lose for Apple (1)

metrometro (1092237) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710159)

Gosh, being the most profitable company in the world sure is hard work! Why bother?

Re:Lose-lose for Apple (1)

Goaway (82658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710247)

Well, except for the option where Apple makes sure the kids get money and education and don't have to work.

I wonder if the article might tell us if they might have happened to do exactly that?

Re:Lose-lose for Apple (1)

Marxdot (2699183) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710585)

Read the article. It isn't an "oh no those kids are going to starve now so Apple should continue to exploit them because it's Morally Right and god bless child labour and god bless murrika" situation.

Re:Lose-lose for Apple (2)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710743)

OK, let me spell out exactly what I meant since everyone missed the point.

No matter what Apple does they are going to be criticized here.

Was it really that difficult?

America, see your conservative future (-1, Troll)

fascismforthepeople (2805977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709713)

Right now the Americans see themselves on a moral high ground for opposing child labor. Currently, that is one of few labor laws that means anything. However there are plenty of politicians - slashdot idol ron paul amongst them - who would like to overturn those laws as well. In the name of "liberty" they want to remove "market restrictions" to "grow industry". This will, of course, only reduce the wages across the board for working class people while making companies more profitable and increasing executive compensation. They also want to increase the rights of the wealthy and reduce those of the poor. While some conservatives claim they want to stop the "class warfare", this pushes it to a terrible conclusion.

In other words, under the guise of liberty - but with the true goal of profit - some people aspire to bring fascism for the people.

Re:America, see your conservative future (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709867)

Right now the Americans see themselves on a moral high ground for opposing child labor. Currently, that is one of few labor laws that means anything. However there are plenty of politicians - slashdot idol ron paul amongst them - who would like to overturn those laws as well. In the name of "liberty" they want to remove "market restrictions" to "grow industry". This will, of course, only reduce the wages across the board for working class people while making companies more profitable and increasing executive compensation. They also want to increase the rights of the wealthy and reduce those of the poor. While some conservatives claim they want to stop the "class warfare", this pushes it to a terrible conclusion. In other words, under the guise of liberty - but with the true goal of profit - some people aspire to bring fascism for the people.

I wouldn't call that facism, exactly. Just an undoing of labor laws taking us back to the working conditions of the late 19th century

But I wonder who these people think their customers would be in their brave new world of economic freedom.

Re:America, see your conservative future (1)

fascismforthepeople (2805977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710201)

I wouldn't call that facism, exactly. Just an undoing of labor laws taking us back to the working conditions of the late 19th century

Right century, wrong era. The goal is to bring back the society of the early 19th century, when people bought, sold, traded, gave away, and discarded other human beings on the open market. That is exactly what will happen when all the labor laws are thrown out the window along with all corporate regulations. The libertarian dream state will leave us wishing for Hoovervilles.

But I wonder who these people think their customers would be in their brave new world of economic freedom.

They expect that once they turn the united states into a slave colony they can get by with selling exports to other countries at a profit. They of course overlook the fact that at that point "made in usa" will be a far less valuable label than "made in china" has ever been.

Ultimately they just want to push the current cultural war to the extent that favors their aspirations the most. They aim to concentrate power in the hands of very few and hopefully find a way to place themselves in that circle. By doing this under the guise of liberty they aim to roll out fascism for the people.

Re:America, see your conservative future (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709873)

It will also increase the productivity of the society resulting in lower prices for the poor. Get off your moral high horse and learn some economics.

Central economic planing doesn't work, no matter how good you think your "plan" is, the market is better. Using the violence of the state to restrict voluntary trade IS "fascism". fool.

Re:America, see your conservative future (1)

fascismforthepeople (2805977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710163)

Central economic planing doesn't work, no matter how good you think your "plan" is, the market is better. Using the violence of the state to restrict voluntary trade IS "fascism". fool.

There is a common misconception that fascism requires central planning, which is does not. Fascism is not about central planning or intentional manipulation of the economy. Fascism is about division of power - specifically the concentration of the majority of power in the hands of a select few.

Taking power from the economic underclasses, and giving it to the wealthiest minor fraction of your population is indeed fascism. When it is sold under the false pretense of liberty, it is just fascism for the people.

Re:America, see your conservative future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710627)

The right honorable Anonymous Coward thinks that banning child labor across the board is 'a centrally planned economy'. He is on the edge of having a rant about 'socialism' as well. I have come to the conclusion that the honorable gentleman is none other than the ghost of Ludwig von Mises in one of his more emotional states.

Re:America, see your conservative future (1)

Marxdot (2699183) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710605)

A shame that this is presently (-1, Troll), because it is essentially correct.

Re:America, see your conservative future (1)

fascismforthepeople (2805977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710769)

That is because reality has a liberal bias, and needs to be punished accordingly when shown on slashdot.

Apple Contract (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42709787)

1 Section 1: "The amount per device you're charging us is $(censored). Do whatever you want to achieve this price, exept, don't get caught."

Samsung Contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710309)

1 Section 1: "Do whatever the fuck you want to children or other workers, we don't care at all".

Why the odd headline? (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709793)

OK, why is the angle on this story not "Apple caught using child labor"? It was the last time this story happened.

Re:Why the odd headline? (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709869)

OK, why is the angle on this story not "Apple caught using child labor"? It was the last time this story happened.

Would be a bit unfair considering that the information comes from a report created by Apple. Not that that would stop anyone...

Re:Why the odd headline? (1)

Goaway (82658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710261)

Because Slashdot for some strange reason decided not to lie this time? I don't know what this place is coming to.

"Real Faith" (0)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709817)

I don't have real faith in any company that chooses to insert religious references in the name of their business. To me it just seems like a cheap attempt to get you to think they must be virtuous because they call themselves godly. And we know how reliable that has been, historically.

Now I suppose I'd make an exception if they were "Real Faith Bible Printing" or "Real Faith Clerical Vestments." Then it's just plain old marketing because you expect the name of the business to have something to do with the product. But when the product is circuit boards or auto repair... not so much.

Re:"Real Faith" (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710215)

Perhaps it made more sense in Chinese; perhaps they are like the Japanese and insert random English words that they find lying about into things they want to look trendy.

Re:"Real Faith" (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710245)

I'm not sure it even means that. A poster above raised the question of translation, claiming that Chinese company names often include abstract concepts that don't translate well. The word given as 'faith' might really mean something different, but that cannot be concisely rendered any other way. Only a fluent Chinese speaker can answer this question, and I am not one.

subcontracted work out this is the isses as well (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42709921)

subcontracted work out this is the issue as well the main supplier / contractors should get fined as well.

In usa cable co's do this some times it ends up very bad.

http://consumerist.com/2011/10/05/couple-sues-cox-after-cable-guy-kills-their-son/ [consumerist.com]

we're Apple, and we're cooler than you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710035)

74 cases?
Probably more Apple holier than thou public relations horseshit.
Depending on age, tasks, and hours, "underage" workers are not necessarily bad.
In the absence of any useful details, the cynical view might be more accurate.
If Apple(insert any profit oriented corporation) really wanted to do right by, they would shift their operations back to the stifling litigious bureaucracy of America/Canada/Western Europe...but how do you feel about $2k iPhones?

Cases "Jump" from 6 to 74 in one year? RTFA (1)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710337)

And that "Jump" was from an audit of the second year Apple did the study, 2011. For 2012, "According to Apple's new report, the company didn't find any cases of underage workers at its final assembly suppliers in 2012". Of the subcontractors audited, only one was a serious violator, and that company was terminated as a supplier to Apple. My conclusion is that all of this Slashdot hyperbole and handwringing over Chinese supply chain is kinda 2003. 74 cases out of tens of thousands, concentrated at one subcontractor, which probably had a handful of bad managers. I don't think this is 1850 England we are discussing, this is closer to 1970 Bentonville Arkansas.

Lol Suck It Apple Fanboi's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42710507)

-replaceable humans

Apple knew about this. I'm sure they didn't do anything until someone made a stink. Its probably why their phones suck and how they get designed too.

There was this sci-fi book about missiles using kitten brains as a guidance system. Oh brave new world that awaits us, I cannot wait to see what kind of humans live in it. I hope I reincarnate as a Xenomorph or some kind of alien predator though.

Everyone picks on Apple... (5, Informative)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42710635)

Apple gets a lot of flak for 'letting it happen', but Apple is the only company I know of that is actively trying to do something about it.

If this is happening to Apple, you KNOW it's happening to everyone else. And I have yet to hear a single report of Samsung doing a similar thing to what Apple is doing now.

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