Apple under fire over illegal student labour to build iPhone X
The six students were based at the Foxconn plant on a three month ‘work experience'
A Financial Times investigation discovered that Apple's iPhone assembler, Foxconn, relied on students to work overtime to build the iPhone X.
The six students were based at the Foxconn plant on a three month ‘work experience' stint but investigation found that they were routinely working 11-hour shifts assembling the iPhone X, and under the Chinese overtime laws, the long shifts are illegal.
Whilst such work experience is common in China, students must be paid and the hours should not exceed 40 hours a week. Additionally work placements are on a voluntary basis and despite the investigation stating that the students has volunteered, it also reveals that they had been asked to work there in order to graduate.
One of the students revealed that they assembled 1200 cameras for the iPhone X in each shift, with no robots in sight.
Apple has since released a statement confirming the illegal shifts but says the students were working under a voluntary basis.
Apple said: "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."
"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."
Foxconn also told a newspaper that whilst the students were ‘compensated appropriately' it confessed that the overtime shifts did conflict with the policy.