Apple's iPhone X assembled by 3000 interns doing forced overtime in China

Apple's iPhone X assembled by 3000 interns doing forced overtime in China

Apple's iPhone X assembled by 3000 interns doing forced overtime in China

Six high school students told the Financial Times they routinely work 11-hour days assembling the iPhone X at a factory in Zhengzhou, China, which constitutes illegal overtime for student interns under Chinese law. One student told the FT they were being forced to work there, and that the work had nothing to do with their studies. At the time Cook and senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said in an internal email they were "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way". The investigation didn't mention how many days the students are required to work but stated that their hours violated Chinese law, which prohibits student interns from working more than 40 hours per week.

"We've confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime", an Apple spokesperson said. "In two factories, we discovered many workers under the age of 18 working the same long hours under the same conditions as adult workers", the report continued. News reports abounded prior to and shortly after the iPhone X's launch claiming that Apple was struggling to manufacture certain parts. Based on Apple's actions, Qiang said, it seems like they don't care about the labor standards they set previously.

"All work was voluntary and compensated appropriately", a factory spokesperson said.

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The supplier said the internship program was "carried out in co-operation with local governments and a number of vocational schools in China". "The issue remains unresolved as the company has production targets to meet". 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.

Read the full article at the Financial Times.

Of course, this wouldn't be the first time Apple and Foxconn have been called out for their unsavory employment practices - which have historically focused on the schedules and otherwise impure working conditions faced by Foxconn's factory workers in the Far East.

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