Smartphone giant Apple Inc and its largest manufacturing partner said that a small number of students were discovered working overtime in a factory based in China. The incident was a violation of local labour laws.
According to Reuters, the students were working voluntarily in the factory for over 11 hours a day. This was a part of an internship program at a plant which is run by Hon Hai Precision Co Ltd, more commonly known as Foxconn.
A statement released by Apple said that despite the voluntary services offered by the students, they shouldn’t have been allowed to work overtime. “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,” said the statement.
Apple and Foxconn have both been accused of poor labour practices in the past, but the US smartphone manufacturer has been trying to put an end to such issues, and releases annual reviews of the iPhone’s supply chain. The reports of these violations comes at a time when Apple is stretching itself to meet demands for its newly launched iPhone X.
A report by the Financial Times mentioned that the six students who worked overtime at the facility said that the internship was mandatory for their graduation.
Speaking to FT, Ms Yang an 18-year-old student said “We are being forced by our school to work here. The work has nothing to do with our studies.” She did not wish to use her first name for fear of punishment. According to Financial Times, she assembled up to 1,200 iPhone X cameras a day.According to Reuters, labour rights groups have often criticized Apple as well as Foxconn for hiring underage workers, not providing health insurance and also for excessive overtime.