Apple steps up labor audits, finds underage workers
"We go deep in the supply chain to find it," Williams said. "And when we do find it, we ensure that the underage workers are taken care of, the suppliers are dealt with."
In one case, Apple terminated its relationship with a component maker after discovering 74 cases of underage workers. Apple also discovered an employment agency that was forging documents to allow children to illegally work at the supplier.
Apple reported both the supplier and the employment agency to local authorities, the company said in its latest annual report on the conditions in its supply chain.
Apple has audited both small and ancillary suppliers, as well as large ones such as Korea's Samsung Electronics Co, for working conditions. It found 95 percent of sites audited complied with avoiding underage labor.
Child labor is an issue that is part of the larger supply industry as the component maker that Apple found violated child labor laws supplied parts to more than a hundred different companies, including automotive companies, Williams said, vowing to eradicate under aged labor from the industry.
"I don't know how long it will take to get there but that's our goal," said Williams, who has spent a significant amount of his 14 years at Apple in Asia managing the supply chain.
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