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22 November 2017, 12:18 | Cedric Leonard
iPhone X assembly carried out by students working illegal overtime
They have acknowledged that some cases of student interns working overtime do exist and they're looking into measures to ensure that this doesn't happen again.
The students, whose ages range from 17 to 19, told the paper they were informed that a "three-month stint" working on the iPhone assembly line was a "work experience" requirement they had to fulfill in order to graduate from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School.
"We are being forced by our school to work here", an 18-year-old student who assembled up to 1,200 iPhone X cameras per day told the Financial Times. These hours violate China's overtime law, which only allows students to work 40 hours per week. Students in China, according to the paper, are classified as interns, which means overtime hours are illegal under Chinese law. "The work has nothing to do with our studies", Ms Yang said.
This isn't the first timeApple has been under fire for the working conditions of its suppliers.
In China, student labor is allowed, however it must be limited to 40 hours a week, and students must be paid or compensated with benefits, and their placements must be voluntary.
"Apple is dedicated to ensuring everyone in our supply chain is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve...we'll continue to do all we can to make a positive impact and protect workers in our supply chain".
The spokesperson said Foxconn would work with local governments and vocational schools to organize its internship program.
The school has refused to comment on the issue.
Apple's latest model, the $999 iPhone X, faced hiccups in production that stymied some suppliers and held back business for Hon Hai, which gets more than half its sales from the Cupertino, California-based company. According to those reports, the company and its production partners were struggling to keep up with their shipment goals on the phone. 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. During this period, staff numbers at the Zhengzhou factory can triple from 100,000 to more than 300,000, the employee reportedly told The Financial Times.
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