Apple Acknowledges 'Illegal Overtime' Employment of HS Students

Workers at a Foxconn facility in 2010

Workers at a Foxconn facility in 2010

According to an exclusive report by The Financial Times, Apple's leading contract manufacturer Foxconn has been illegally employing students to assemble the latest iPhone X in order to meet demand after extensive production delays. Half a dozen students told the publication they regularly worked 11-hour days building the iPhone X.

The students, aged 17 to 19, said they were told that a three-month stint at the factory was required "work experience" that they had to complete in order to graduate.
Ms Yang said she assembled about 1,200 iPhone X cameras a day. "We have investigated all of these cases and confirmed that while all work was voluntary and compensated appropriately, the interns did work overtime in violation of our policy". For its part, the Cupertino-company has published an official supplier responsibility report, in which it specifically requires its partners like Foxconn and Pegatron to both limit working hours to 60 per week, while also providing workers one whole day off every seven days for rest.

"This work has nothing to do with our studies".

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The "Foxconn City" park outside of Shenzhen came under worldwide scrutiny in 2010 after media reports about 18 suicide attempts and 14 deaths that year.

In China, student labor is allowed, however it must be limited to 40 hours a week, and students must be paid or compensated with benefits, and their placements must be voluntary. "From Apple's actions, it seems like they don't care about the labor standards they set previously", said Li Qiang, founder of New York-based advocacy group China Labor Watch, which monitors working conditions in Apple's supply chain. The six students were all working at Foxconn on internships. According to its 2017 Supplier Responsibility report, Apple only found one underage worker-"a 15½ year old" where the legal working age is 16-in its supply chain audit, and the company moved quickly to address it. During this period, staff numbers at the Zhengzhou factory can triple from 100,000 to more than 300,000, the employee reportedly told The Financial Times. The Financial Times reported earlier Tuesday that a group of 3,000 students from the Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School were sent to work at the local facility.

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