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H.P. Directs Its Suppliers in China to Limit Student Labor

Author: Keith Bradsher & David Barboza, New York Times, Published on: 7 February 2013

Hewlett-Packard...is imposing new limits on the employment of students and temporary agency workers...Many factories in China have long relied on...students...Students complain of being ordered by school administrators to put in very long hours...at jobs with no relevance to their studies...[M]any...companies have largely neglected the problem...Apple said it would begin requiring suppliers to provide information about their student workers...H.P. is pushing even harder. Its rules...say that all work must be voluntary...[with] "...reliable and reprisal-free grievance mechanisms”...[An] H.P. spokesman, said that the company would hold training sessions for suppliers...and also discussion sessions for government officials, nongovernment organizations and academics — ...[which] could put pressure on other companies... Liu Kaiming,...of the Institute of Contemporary Observation,...said some vocational school students spent the last year of school working at Foxconn [part of Hon Hai] and other factories. “This sometimes even involves forced labor...,” Mr. Liu said. Foxconn, in a statement, said that it had an apprenticeship program allowing students to work for one to six months on a voluntary basis only...Anita Chan...at the Australian National University in Sydney, said electronics companies should not use student workers at all.

Read the full post here

Related companies: Apple Foxconn (part of Hon Hai) Hon Hai HP (Hewlett-Packard)