Transit school students said they worked 11-hour shifts for required work experience.
Apple has admitted that one of its main Chinese factories worked student interns overtime to assemble its iPhone X, violating local labor laws.
The admission on Wednesday came after teenage workers claimed they were regularly forced to work 11-hour shifts assembling the pricey devices in order to graduate from school, according to a report published in the Financial Times.
The tech giant, as well as plant operator Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., also known as Foxconn, has denied the student program was involuntary but admitted the long hours violated policy.
We’ve confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime, Apple said in a statement obtained by HuffPost.
The corporation, headquartered in California, said it has sent staff to the overseas plant to address the violations, which it said involve a small percentage of the workers.
The six students, aged 17 to 19, told the Financial Times that they were among a group of 3,000 students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School who were sent to the Zhengzhou factory to complete a three-month stint for work experience.
One student, who didn’t want to be identified because of fear of retaliation, said she was tasked with assembling the new iPhone X smartphones, which cost just under $1,000, despite studying to be a train attendant.
The work has nothing to do with our studies, the 18-year-old told the Times.
Foxconn, in a statement obtained by Reuters, admitted that some interns have worked more than 40 hours per week on program-related assignments, which violates their policy.
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