Foxconn hid child labourers

When Apple’s inspectors visited the Foxconn plant last week, there was a surprising lack of child labour being used.

Appleinsider found a report from the Hong Kong-based nonprofit Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) that Apple tipped off Foxconn that the inspectors were coming and executives assigned them other work.

According to a SACOM report, 16- and 17-year olds are allowed to work under Apple’s supplier code of conduct but with special restrictions on types and duration of their work.

SACOM project officer Debby Sze Wan Chan said she had heard from two Foxconn workers in Zhenghou that Foxconn was “prepared for the inspection.”

She said that all underage workers, between 16-17 years old, were not assigned any overtime work and some of them were even sent to other departments, Chan reported the workers as having said.

Foxconn also relaxed certain policies such as by adding additional break periods ahead of the audits.

It may not have worked. Fair Labor Association president Auret van Heerden noted to Nightline’s Bill Weir that his group always expects to receive “a show” when it arrives for its audits.

But it is not stupid and asks a few questions and other strategies help to dig beneath the surface to find more accurate representations of what was going on.

It is not clear if he knows about the local Chinese governments forcing school kids to work in the plant for next to nothing under the guise of internships even when the work is completely outside of their field of study.