Published: Fri, November 24, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Student interns 'worked illegal hours' at iPhone factory

Student interns 'worked illegal hours' at iPhone factory

The Foxconn Technology Group, which operates an internship programme at the Chinese factory, told the BBC in a statement that it took "immediate action to ensure that no interns are carrying out any overtime work". "We've confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime", Apple said in a statement.

Foxconn, the company that manufactures numerous parts for Apple's iPhones, has stopped the illegal overtime that was being worked by young interns at the iPhone X factories in Henan province, China.

The six, aged 17 to 19, are among 3,000 students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School sent to work at the facility in September.

"Our policies do not allow interns to work more than 40 hours per week on programme-related assignments".

Apple said Tuesday its main supplier in Asia has been employing high school students working illegal overtime to assemble the iPhone X.

Confirming that choice was never a part of the plan is Ms Yang, an 18-year-old student that stated: "If I don't stay I won't graduate school, but my body can't take it..."

Apple is dedicated to ensuring everyone in our supply chain is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. "The work has nothing to do with our studies".

Peter Nicholls  Reuters
Students said they were forced to work at the factory in order to graduate. Apple has denied that the program wasn't voluntary
Peter Nicholls Reuters Students said they were forced to work at the factory in order to graduate. Apple has denied that the program wasn't voluntary

Foxconn says its internship program involved cooperation "with local governments and a number of vocational schools".

Apple's iPhone X has faced production problems.

Foxconn and Apple have come under scrutiny for conditions and circumstances of labor in China before.

The BBC reports that Foxconn responded as soon as the facts were revealed.

The company underlined that students are just a fraction of its Chinese workforce, and the violation of labor laws reported by the Financial Times does not reflect the firm's policies.

We required the supplier to provide safe passage home for the underage worker and to continue paying their wages while also providing an educational opportunity. It is simply the abuse of working hours by making them work overtime that is breaking the law.

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