Apple released its 2013 Supplier Responsibility Report (PDF) yesterday, and it reveals that the company fired one of its suppliers after discovering evidence of 74 underage workers at one facility.
In January 2012, for example, we audited a supplier, Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co., Ltd. (PZ)￼ that produces a standard circuit board component used by many other companies in many industries. Our auditors were dismayed to discover 74 cases of workers under age 16—a core violation of our Code of Conduct. As a result, we terminated our business relationship with PZ.
The investigation determined that many of the underage workers had been supplied by a local labor agency that had conspired with families to forge age verification documents.
Apple reported the agency to authorities and to quote from the report, “The agency had its business license suspended and was fined. The children were returned to their families, and PZ was required to pay expenses to facilitate their successful return.”
Apple’s report lists other achievements for 2012, including a 72% increase in the number of audits performed compared to the previous year, worker empowerment training for 1.3 million employees, and increasing compliance with work-hours limitations.