Apple has cut ties with Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics after finding that it employed underage workers. The supplier was reported to authorities, and the underage workers were sent back to their families. This information comes from Apple’s Supplier Responsibility report, which it publishes yearly.
The discovery was made during an audit of the supplier by Apple, which turned up fake age verification documents. After being reported, the supplier was fined and forced to pay to send the kids back to their homes. In a preemptive strike, the supplier’s subcontractors then performed their own audits for child labor violations.
In 2012, Apple audited its supply chain 393 times, a jump of over 70-percent from the previous year. Over the last year, about 92- percent of suppliers complied with the maximum 60 hour work week. The audits look at safety, recruitment, and business practices, among other things. This is report #7 to be published by the company.
This isn’t the first time an audit by Apple has turned up child labor violations within its supply chain. Last year, Foxconn was found during an audit to have hired under-aged workers in addition to a variety of other non-age related issues. The discovery was followed by an investigation from the Fair Labor Association by Apple’s request.