Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Child labor, Apple admits "Children in factories in China"

CUPERTINO - Child labor in Chinese factories of "Apple" bitten. And cases of poisoning from fumes. The major U.S. multinational reveals these "anomalies" in an internal report. In 2010, according to this document, the computer company officials have found some 91 illegally employed children in their factories, nine times more than the previous year.

In addition, 137 of its employees have shown symptoms of poisoning from n-hexane, a powerful solvent that can cause severe neuropathy if handled without caution. Apple so far refused to confirm that there had been cases of poisoning. From the report - details of which were published by the British newspaper "Guardian" - also shows that only less than a third of the Chinese factories where Apple products are manufactured to comply with the code of the work schedules that, within a week, require employees to a maximum of 60 hours and at least one day off.

Regarding child labor, the Cupertino company said it had introduced stricter controls after he realized that in many cases the age of the boys were being falsified, a school that had organized the use of some young people has been denounced to the authorities for having provided them with false documents, and a contractor of the company has lost its contract after his factory were discovered working 42 children.

The publication of the report represents an unusual move by Apple, which usually refuses to disclose such factories has partnered with for the realization of its products. But following a series of suicides last year in the factories of Foxconn, a major Chinese company specializing in electronics and that Apple makes iPod, iPhone and iPad, the U.S.

company was forced to greater transparency about the working conditions in its contractors. In the cases of poisoning, environmentalist Ma Jun, founder of the China Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs, said that it is good that Apple has finally acknowledged the problem, but added: "This report shows that Apple is not still willing to accept public scrutiny.

We had listed the names of some suppliers of Apple but the report does not mention is made. " Skeptical reaction also by Debby Chan, the association's Hong Kong Students and Scholars Against Corporate misbehavior, according to which it is impossible to monitor what they do contractors Apple because the company refuses to identify them or say how many.

According to Chan, the ratio would therefore be only an exercise in image and not a genuine effort to ensure workers' rights.

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