Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has had more than its share of labor issues with its manufacturers in Asia, most notably Foxconn, which makes components for Apple Inc. (AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ). Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been working tirelessly with a labor auditing group to ensure that the working conditions at its partner factories were improved for all workers.
Just a few short weeks after a labor walkout at one factory and a brawl involving 2,000 workers at another, Foxconn is now dealing with a new public-relations problem for itself and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), as there were reports that one Foxconn facility had a number of 14-year-old interns working there. The legal working age in China is 16 years old. A company investigation discovered the interns and sent them back ot their schools, though there is now word of how many of these younger interns were discovered.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hired the Fair Labor Association to audit and monitor working conditions at the various Apple Inc. (AAPL) partner factories, had said in August following a recent Foxconn audit that the recommended improvements made in March were being implemented more quickly than scheduled. Part of this included verifications of the proper ages of intern workers.
“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,” a Foxconn statement said. “Any Foxconn employee found, through our investigation, to be responsible for these violations will have their employment immediately terminated.”
Apple Inc. (NASDAQLAAPL) has been facing some issues with supply and production line issues with its iPhone 5, and is due to release an iPad Mini and a new MacBook Pro at an event next week. Labor conditions and the correlated public relations are on full surveillance for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL0 investors, notably billionaire fund manager David Tepper of Appaloosa Management LP.