Apple seems to be stuck in a never ending loop of controversies, when it comes to dealing with assembly partners and suppliers. In yet another incident involving a partner firm doing something illegal, the Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics (PZ for short) company was discovered to have knowingly hired under age employees.
The discovery came after an internal audit, ordered by Apple, was carried out. The company published its findings in the Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, and has since cut ties with the supplier in question.
The iPad maker stated in its report:
We also learned that one of the region’s largest labor agencies, Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources Co., Ltd. Quanshun, which is registered in both the Shenzhen and Henan provinces, was responsible for knowingly providing the children to PZ. In fact, to obtain the workers, this agency conspired with families to forge age verification documents and make the workers seem older than they were.
Rogue Suppliers Breaking the Law
This is not the first time Apple has had to deal with a rogue supplier breaking the law and embarrassing Cupertino. There was a massive riot at Foxconn over living and pay conditions last September; which left ten people dead and the entire facility in lockdown. Rewind the clock even further, back into 2010, news came to light that over a dozen workers had committed suicide at the very same facility. The Chinese facility has also been under scrutiny for its electric fences, armed guards and other various prison-like amenities.
The last time Apple’s partners and suppliers were in the spotlight, the company pretty much stayed silent, and then, tried to unsuccessfully smooth over the PR debacle that followed. Looks like it’s going to take the initiative this time, by cutting all ties with PZ, and publicly releasing the annual supplier responsibility report.
PZ has managed to come out the incident with its business license suspended, a hefty fine paid, and a court order to cover the children’s expenses as they make their way back to their families and hometowns.
What do you think? Should Apple cut ties with Chinese suppliers completely? Or should it keep a tighter watch over them? Sound off in the comments!