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By:   •  July 11, 2012  •  Essay  •  718 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,513 Views

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There were at least eleven 15-year-old children were discovered to be working in Apple's supplies' factories last year. The problem was exposed to media in February 2010, and Apple also admitted using child labour at the same time. The company said they found some suppliers' factories hire underage labours when they audited their supplier facilities conducted in 2009. Although Apple Inc. did not name which factories had happened the problem, its subsidiary factories are built in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, China and the Czech Republic.

There are two arguments for the use of children: "(1) Sometimes they are better suited than adults to perform certain tasks, and (2) if they were not employed, they had been worse off. For example, children in India are often put to work because their parents cannot earn enough to support families, and if they don't make enough to pay off debts, children are often indentured to creditors."(Daniels, Radebaugh and Sullivan, 2009, p252). However, according to the International Labour Organization, about 250 million girls and boys are working all over the world, and all of them are deprived of education, health and basic freedom. In addition, more than half of them are working in a bad condition environment.

Child labour is a serious problem that multinational enterprises face, and the most difficult factor for MNEs is that business environment is more different than they use in their own country, such as different cultural, legal and political rules. For instance, the law allows people to work 84 hours a week in Thailand. The working time is more than double than other countries. Moreover, multinational enterprises rely on local suppliers because they can provide low cost labours and materials to the companies, and let MNEs have price advantage in the same industry. But most of them don't also support and permit their suppliers to use underage workers.

Child labour is not only related to business ethics, but also damages the company's reputation, thereby affecting the products' sales. For Apple Inc., the consumers will consider that was the Ipod or Iphone that I would buy built on the back of child labour.

Apple had responded the problem as soon as possible. They said that Apple, like most multinational enterprises, has a handbook which offers their suppliers' rules to follow if they want to continue to do stuff with the company, and then they follow up with their suppliers on routine audits, if they don't comply with the rules, the company need to let the supplier to fix the problems, even or stop working with them. But that is not enough because this is not the first time of Apple's subsidiary factories use child labour, a total of 25 child workers had been employed to produce iPods, iPhones and its range of computers in Apple's subsidiary factories in 2008. Apple has responsibility


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