Apple's longtime manufacturing partner Foxconn has reportedly been employing students to work overtime illegally at its factories for assembling the iPhone X. The Financial Times has heard from six high school students in China who told the scribe that they regularly work 11-hour days to assemble Apple's new flagship device.
The company underlined that students are just a fraction of its Chinese workforce, and the violation of labor laws reported by the Financial Times does not reflect the firm's policies.
Labour rights groups have previously criticised Apple and Foxconn for excessive overtime, hiring underage workers and failing to provide health insurance. "We've confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits", Apple said.
"Our policies do not allow interns to work more than 40 hours per week on programme-related assignments".
The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday recommended tariffs to keep Samsung and LG from flooding the U.S. market with affordable washers, a step that would protect American appliance giant Whirlpool.
Peter Nicholls Reuters Students said they were forced to work at the factory in order to graduate. Apple has denied that the program wasn't voluntary
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The six, aged 17 to 19, are among 3,000 students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School sent to work at the facility in September. "A team of specialists are on site at the facility working with the management on systems to ensure the appropriate standards are adhered to". 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. She added: "The work has nothing to do with our studies".
Foxconn worked with local governments and vocational institutions to organize the internship program.
This isn't the first time Apple has been under fire for the working conditions of its suppliers. In 2012, there were reports of factory worker riots and use of underage workers, and both Apple and Foxconn agreed to work to improve factory conditions and share the costs of doing so.More news: Palestinians freeze ties with US
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