As some of you may already know, hardware manufacturer Foxconn found its self in the midst of a another major controversy as it emerged that the company was employing school children, some as young as 14 years old. It's not the first time the company has gotten into the headlines and I'm fairly certain it won't be the last. With the extensive reports of suicides at the plant, riots over pay and working conditions, extremely long work hours and just general over lack of care for their employees to name but a few issues.
Now it has been learned that these children workers were involved in the manufacturing of Nintendo's new Wii U consoles. With children of ages of 14 to 16 working overtime and through the night to help Foxconn produce the consoles hardware.
It wasn't long after these details emerged that Foxconn went on the defensive, pointing out that the children were free to leave when ever they liked, hardly a robust defence if you ask me. Although this doesn't seem to have been the case as Games QQ claims the children who worked at Foxconn were practially forced to do the job. Refusal to do so resulted in them being threatened by their teachers who told them they could be kicked out of school and/or lose their graduation diplomas.
One 14-year-old worker told Games QQ that he worked the night shift from the site that he worked in the night shift from 7:40PM through till morning, "Whenever the work is done is when you get off your shift. If you don't finish the work, he (the production line foreman) won't let you end your shift. Usually, you can get off by 7 AM. My arms would hurt from the work,". Even after several consecutive night shifts a request for sick leave was denied and he was eventually sacked and told he would be kicked out of school.
Quite frankly this is bloody outrageous, Nintendo has told Kotaku that it is investigating the matter and taking the allegations very seriously I hope for the sake of these under-age workers that they do the right thing, what ever that may be.