Apple iPhone X reportedly assembled with illegal student labor

Women work on the production line at the Foxconn plant in Shenzhen Guangdong province of China

A group of 3,000 students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School was reportedly sent to work at the local facility run by Taiwan-based Apple supplier in September. According to the six students, there are about 3,000 students assembling parts.

While certainly damning, the report also highlights the need for Apple and its partners to implement additional measures to protect their workers.

The legal limit for students is 40 hours per week.

In the wake of the shocking allegations, both Apple and Foxconn have respectively confirmed "instances of students working overtime", according to the report, which added that both companies are now taking action steps to remedy the situation. But Apple and Foxconn have acknowledged that cases of illegal overtime did occur and that they are taking action to address the situation. A team of specialists is on site at the facility working with the management on systems to ensure the appropriate standards are adhered to.

One student claimed to assemble as many as 1,200 iPhone X handsets a day. The company also said that it had "confirmed the students were working voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits", although the students "should not have been allowed to work overtime".

Apple did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation's request for comment by time of publication. Yang, one among the six students, was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that they were forced by their schools to work in the factory as part of a compulsory internship.

Further outrage met the company and Apple when the response to workers jumping from buildings was to hang large nets rather than address the accompanying complaints of harsh working conditions and large quotas. During this period, staff numbers at the Zhengzhou factory can triple from 100,000 to more than 300,000, the employee reportedly told The Financial Times. In 2012, there were reports of factory worker riots and use of underage workers, and both Apple and Foxconn agreed to work to improve factory conditions and share the costs of doing so.

Compared to past infractions, the overtime issue might seem relatively minor, but Apple and Foxconn are under intense scrutiny due to prior problems.

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