Apple's iPhone X assembled by 3000 interns doing forced overtime in China
- Christopher Zimmerman
Apple and Foxconn told the Financial Times that the students were all working voluntarily and compensated, though acknowledged that breaches of policy had occurred when they were allowed to work more than 40 hours a week.
Apple Inc. found that its main supplier in Asia has been employing high-school students working illegal overtime to assemble the iPhone X.
Both Apple and Foxconn denied the allegations of forced overtime and said that the students were doing overtime "voluntarily".
Foxconn said in a statement that its internal policy was that interns could not work more than 40 hours per week, but that policy had been breached. Foxconn, a Taiwanese company, reported a 39 percent decline in quarterly profits earlier this month after the assembler was hit by bottlenecks in the production of the iPhone X, according to Reuters. "They could have stopped these students working night shifts and long hours sooner, but they didn't do that". Today, the Financial Times reports that illegal labour practices persist.
"We couldn't be more excited as we begin to deliver our vision for the future with this stunning device", Apple CEO Tim Cook said about the iPhone X (with the "X" pronounced "ten") on the company's quarterly earnings call. In 2014, a BBC investigative report found Apple's standards for protecting workers at Chinese facilities were being violated. "This work has nothing to do with our studies". 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.
The new iPhone X is displayed during an Apple special event in September
This isn't the first time that Foxconn has come under fire for less-than-ideal working conditions.
We'll continue to follow this story.
Apple said that the student overtime was voluntary but that it shouldn't have been permitted.
The aim was to provide students with experience to prepare them for when Zhengzhou production ramped up, it said.
Everyone already knows that iPhones are made using questionable manufacturing methods but in a recent report, the world was treated to another glimpse of the awful truth behind every Apple device enjoyed by consumers.