February has not been a good month for the Apple supply chain. After the assault, the arson, and the poisonings, now Apple's annual supplier report reveals that 11 minors were found working in their factories this year.
The 24-page report is full of bad news. The worst of it: three different factories hired 15 year old workers, 11 in total, in countries that had a minimum working age of 16.
Other unsavory findings include over 50 factories keeping workers on the job for longer than the maximum 60 hour work week and at least 24 factories paying workers less than the minimum wage. Stuff that would be bad normally but doesn't seem quite as bad in light of the child labor: only 61% of Apple's factories were following correct safety regulations and only 57% had the necessary environmental permits for operation.
Apple didn't reveal which factories were culpable, or the nations in which these factories were located—they use facilities in China, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, the Czech Republic and the United States—but they are still using them to manufacturing their products. Apple confirmed that the child laborers are no longer employed.
Apple's no stranger to supply chain controversy, and all of these details come right from their own supplier responsibility report. You'd imagine that at some point people would stop gawking at Apple's supply chain scandals and actually put pressure on them to make some significant changes in their system. Hopefully these latest findings are enough to start that process. [Telegraph and Bloomberg]