Foxconn Cheaps Out

Foxconn says underage workers used in China plant | Reuters

Foxconn, the trading name of Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, said it had found some interns at a plant in Yantai, in northeastern Shandong province, were under the legal working age of 16. It did not say how many were underage.

“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,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This is not only a violation of China’s labor 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.”

China’s official Xinhua news agency, citing an unnamed Yantai government official, said that 56 underage interns would be brought back to their schools.

The students had been employed after Foxconn asked the development zone in which the factory is located to help solve a labor shortage last month, when they were needed to make up a shortfall of 19,000 workers, Xinhua added.

Foxconn is Apple Inc’s largest manufacturing partner, and also makes products for Dell Inc, Sony Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co among its other clients. It said the Yantai plant does not make Apple products.

Foxconn says underage workers used in China plant | Reuters

 

Underage workers in the corporate heaven of Foxconn

There is the funny thing in economics called supply and demand. It would seem to dictate that you raise pay or benefits to attract new workers. But Foxconn doesn’t believe in the free market. They appealed to the government (that would be the development zone) for a little help in the form of permission to use 56 underage “interns.” They took them out of school, an undoubted benefit. I mean, who needs school when they could work long hours at tedious jobs for little pay. There is certainly a kind of education there, right?

I could talk about the business ethics of this situation. But how much analysis can you do? Underage workers, children used to evade having to raise salaries, manipulating the government for private gain – what part of this requires an extended analysis?

James Pilant

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