Students have been employed illegally by Apple's main supplier in Asia in a bid to help the Cupertino-headquartered company deal with demand for new iPhone X, according to a report in The Financial Times.
Foxconn's services constructing devices for Apple also underwent intense scrutiny in 2010, when 14 employees committed suicide after allegedly being subjected to overly demanding work schedules, verbal abuse, and poor living conditions.
According to the Financial Times, Apple and Foxconn said they had discovered several student interns working overtime, and they were taking action.
The allegations are doubly problematic for Foxconn as the students claimed they were being forced to work at the factory for three months of "work experience" in order to be allowed to graduate.
Students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School told the Financial Times that they were part of a group of 3,000 teenagers sent into a Foxconn facility to meet demand for the iPhone X.
In a statement, an Apple acknowledged the students should not have been working overtime to assemble Apple's latest, gleaming handsets.
We've confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime. Students are classed as interns, making their overtime hours illegal under Chinese law, the Financial Times said. Such long work days are illegal for student interns as per China's laws. "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". He made the equivalent of around $450 a month, even when working overtime. Apple told the media outlet that it was aware that student interns were "working overtime at a supplier factory in China". She also said that they "are being forced" by their school to work at the factory, adding that her work on the iPhone X assembly line "has nothing to do with our studies".
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