China: Students illegally working overtime to build Apple iPhone XLast updated on Nov 23, 2017, 12:05 am
Struggling to meet the iPhone X demand amid production delays, Apple's primary supplier in Asia, Foxconn, has reportedly hired high-school students illegally to assemble the latest iPhone.
According to Financial Times, six high-schoolers revealed that they work for 11-hours in a day to build the iPhone X at Foxconn's factory in China's Zhengzhou.
The students' long shifts are illegal under Chinese laws.
School sends 3,000 students to work at factory
According to Financial Times, the six high-school students are among a group of 3,000 students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School.
The high-schoolers, aged 17-19, claimed they were sent to work at the factory by their school in September.
The school reportedly told them that they need a three-month work experience at the factory run by Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn) to graduate.
We are forced to work here, says a student
Ms. Yang (one of the six students interviewed) said, "We are being forced by our school to work here."
Declining to reveal her full name, fearing punishment, she added, "The work has nothing to do with our studies."
Yang, who is training at the school to be a train attendant, assembles 1,200 iPhone X cameras in a day.
The school, however, declined to comment.
Students are hired every year: Foxconn employee
A long-time employee at Foxconn said that the Zhengzhou factory employs students every year during August-December, the busy season.
The employee said such recruitment usually increases the number of workers at the factory from 100,000 to over 300,000 to produce 20,000 iPhones daily.
The worker also added that the requirement for such seasonal student interns was higher this year.
Took action after discovering students overtime cases: Apple
When Financial Times contacted Apple and Foxconn, they acknowledged that they have come across cases of students working overtime, adding they are taking "remedial action".
Apple stated that it had discovered such instances during a recent audit at the factory.
It added, "We've confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime."
Educational Ministry asks schools to send students to Foxconn
Foxconn said the internship program is "carried out in co-operation with local governments and a number of vocational schools in China."
The Education Ministry of China's Henan province, of which Zhengzhou is the capital, reportedly told all vocational schools there to send their "work experience students" to Foxconn.
An official said, "Henan province does everything in its power to make sure Foxconn thrives here."
All work was voluntary: Foxconn
Foxconn stated, "All (the students') work was voluntary and compensated appropriately, (but) the interns did work overtime in violation of our policy." Its policy prohibits such interns from working for more than 40 hours in a week.