Student interns 'worked illegal hours' at iPhone factory

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Student interns 'worked illegal hours' at iPhone factory

They claim they were told they had to work at Foxconn's factory in order to graduate.

Foxconn has been employing students illegally to work illegal overtime on assembling the iPhone X, it's been alleged.

Students at Foxconn, Apple's main Asian supplier, told the Financial Times they worked 11 hour days assembling the flagship device in Zhengzhou in China. This is considered as illegal overtime for student interns in China.

There were six students in total who spoke to the publication, saying they were sent along with a group of 3,000 students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School in September to work at Foxconn's facility.

The students are aged from 17 to 19 and say they were told they had to work for three months at the factory to obtain "work experience" needed to graduate.

An 18-year-old student preparing to be a train attendant who gave her name as Yang told the FT: "We are being forced by our school to work here." She added: "The work has nothing to do with our studies."

Yang, who did not want to disclose her first name for fear of punishment, said she had assembled up to 1,200 iPhone X cameras a day.

A spokesperson for Apple told us: "Apple is dedicated to ensuring everyone in our supply chain is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. We know our work is never done and we'll continue to do all we can to make a positive impact and protect workers in our supply chain.

"During the course of a recent audit, we discovered instances of student interns working overtime at a supplier facility in China. We've confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime. At this facility, student intern programs are short term and account for a very small percentage of the workforce. When we found that some students were allowed to work overtime, we took prompt action. A team of specialists are on site at the facility working with the management on systems to ensure the appropriate standards are adhered to."

Foxconn told the FT that "all work was voluntary and compensated appropriately, [but] the interns did work overtime in violation of our policy", which prohibits student interns working more than 40 hours a week.

We've contacted Foxconn for comment.

Copyright © ITPro, Dennis Publishing
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