Both Apple and one of its biggest manufacturing partners, Foxconn, have confirmed that it used students working on overtime to help produce the iPhone X, with both companies having admitted the act and having confirmed that remedial actions are being taken.

The news, coming from the Financial Times, paints Foxconn in a particularly bad light with Apple having discovered the workers were being used when carrying out an audit.

Apple audit confirmed that there were “instances of student interns working overtime at a supplier facility in China,” the report outlined. “We’ve confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime.”

Foxconn took great pains to remind everyone that the students were working voluntarily and that they were being paid for the overtime, but one student claims that she was forced to work there by the college she attended.

“We are being forced by our school to work here,” said Ms Yang, an 18-year-old student training to be a train attendant who declined to use her first name for fear of punishment. “The work has nothing to do with our studies.” She said she assembled up to 1,200 iPhone X cameras a day.

Students, aged between 17 and 19, were told that they had to carry out a three-month work experience period at Foxconn in order to graduate from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School. Foxconn is often in hot water for its treatment of workers, and is known for ramping up recruitment ahead of iPhone launchers. In fact, one anonymous Foxconn employee told the report that there can be anywhere up to 300,000 workers tasked with building around 20,000 iPhones each and every day.

As part of Apple’s dealings with Foxconn and other partners, the company requires third-parties to limit working hours to no more than 60 hours a week with one rest day every seven days.

(Source: Financial Times)

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