Chinese Apple manufacturer Foxconn admits ‘hiring underage interns’

Wellington, Oct 17: Apple’s main manufacturing plant in China, Foxconn, has admitted that it had employed teenagers as young as 14 in a factory, in breach of national law.

Foxconn said it had found some interns at a plant in Yantai, in northeastern Shandong province, were under the legal working age of 16.

“Our investigation has shown that the interns in question, who ranged in age from 14 to 16, had worked in that campus for approximately three weeks,” the firm said in a statement.

“This is not only a violation of China’s labour law, it is also a violation of Foxconn policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions,” it added.

Labour rights activists in China had accused Foxconn and other big employers in China of using student interns as a cheap source of labour.

According to the report, Foxconn said it would work with local government to bar the schools involved in the Yantai case from the intern program.

“However, 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,” the firm said.

According to the report, it is not clear if the Yantai plant makes Apple products.

Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, also makes products for Dell Inc, Sony Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co among its other clients. (ANI)