IPhone X assembly carried out by students working illegal overtime
00:18, Nov 22, 2017
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Six high school students, who were part of 3,000 students taking part in a three-month-long work experience program, told the Financial Times that they routinely worked 11-hour days assembling iPhone X smartphones at Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant in China.
Workers at a Foxconn facility in 2010. The six students are between the ages of 17 and 19, and they told the Financial Times that three months working in the factory was mandatory "work experience" that was needed to graduate. However, in this instance, it admits that some interns did work overtime in violation of the policy although they were compensated appropriately and the work was "voluntary".
Foxconn says its internship program involved cooperation "with local governments and a number of vocational schools".
Foxconn is Apple's primary supplier in Asia. A team of specialists is on site at the facility working with the management on systems to ensure the appropriate standards are adhered to.
Apple's iPhone X - launched 10 years after the first iPhone - has been plagued by production issues that meant it ended up shipping in November instead of September, which is when Apple usually starts shipping its new iPhones. "The work has nothing to do with our studies", she continued, adding that she assembles up to 1,200 iPhone X cameras on a daily basis. Apple told the media outlet that it was aware that student interns were "working overtime at a supplier factory in China". According to those reports, the company and its production partners were struggling to keep up with their shipment goals on the phone. According to its 2017 Supplier Responsibility report, Apple only found one underage worker-"a 15½ year old" where the legal working age is 16-in its supply chain audit, and the company moved quickly to address it.
In its 2013 report, China Labor Watch found conditions in factories run by Pegatron, another major Apple supplier, similar to those uncovered by the Financial Times.
The illegal overtime problems are also nothing new. At the time Cook and senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said in an internal email they were "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way".
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