After facing a lot of scrutiny for the past few years over working conditions at factories in China, Apple has made a lot of progress on cleaning up their manufacturing partners’ facilities. Pay has been increased. Forced overtime and child labor aren’t as frequent. And we haven’t heard of any massive brawls in a while.
Following Apple’s lead, HP has decided to get its act together in China as well by reducing the number of underage student laborers at its facilities in China.
According to a news report from Slashgear, HP has issued a new set of guidelines for its manufacturing partners to follow, including Foxconn. The new guidelines from HP aim to limit the number of student laborers at each plant, as well give students and other temporary workers more freedom over the hours that they work.
Last year we reported that student laborers in China are forced to work at Foxconn and other companies in order to complete their education, even though many of them aren’t studying a field that’s related to electronics manufacturing.
HP’s new guidelines dictate that interns and temporary workers will only be accepted if their field of study is close to the line of work they would be performing at the plant. All work must now be voluntary, and students and temporary workers will be allowed to “leave work at any time upon reasonable notice without negative repercussions, and the must have access to reliable and reprisal-free grievance mechanisms.”
The new guidelines are set to go into effect immediately. HP will also be holding training sessions for suppliers starting in March, and they’re going to host some discussions with government officials and educational institutions to make sure the new rules go into effect. It looks like now that Apple has made a firm stance on working conditions in China, all the other major tech companies are ready to follow suit.