Apple confirms students worked illegal overtime building iPhone X

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Foxconn
Tim Cook visiting a Foxconn factory on a previous occasion.
Photo: Apple

Apple has acknowledged that there were instances of students working illegal overtime at Foxconn building the iPhone X — and is taking steps to correct the situation.

In a report for the Financial Times, six high school students — aged between 17 and 19 — were revealed as working 11-hour days assembling the iPhone X at one of Foxconn’s factories in Zhengzhou, China.

One of the students said that, “We are being forced by our school to work here,” although she claims the work supposedly had nothing to do with her studies. During her time at Foxconn, she built 1,200 iPhone X cameras per day.

The students were paid for their work, which was described as “voluntary,” but Foxconn admits that the fact that the students were in violation of Foxconn policy by working overtime — which is more than 40 hours per week.

Apple carried out its own investigation, and said that there had been “instances of student interns working overtime at a supplier facility in China.” At busy times of year, Foxconn can reportedly employ up to 300,000 employees building a maximum of 20,000 iPhones per day.

Since reports about supplier conditions started circulating a few years ago, Apple has taken steps to clamp down on illegal activity, such as the employment of underage workers. For the past few years, it has achieved around 95 percent compliance with enforcing a maximum 60-hour workweek for people in its supply chain, and has taken steps to reduce the hiring of underage workers.

Hopefully, both Foxconn and Apple will take steps, based on this latest incident, to further improve conditions.