On Wednesday, Apple Inc and its largest manufacturing partner stated it discovered a small number of students were working overtime at the Chinese plant Foxconn, which violates local labor laws. The students stated they voluntarily worked in the factory over 11 hours per day as part of a school internship program.
“We discovered instances of student interns working overtime at a supplier facility in China. We’ve confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime,” said in a statement from Apple.
This is not the first occurrence of Apple and Foxconn being accused of poor labor practices, yet the Apple had made strides to distance past violations by releasing annual reviews of the iPhone supply chain. The newest violations came as the Apple is trying to meet demands for its newest smartphone the iPhone X. A previous report released by the Financial Times, named six students that worked overtime at the plant and were forced by their school to partake in the internship as it was required for them to graduate.
“Our policies do not allow interns to work more than 40 hours per week on program-related assignments. Unfortunately, there have been a number of cases where portions of our campuses have not adhered to this policy,” Foxconn said in a statement. In a statement from Apple, the company said it had sent staff to the location to confront the violations.
Labor rights groups have formerly blasted Apple and Foxconn for hiring underage workers, extreme overtime, and neglecting to provide health insurance to workers. Over the past five years, Apple says it has decreased the number of workers that are underage in its extended supply chain, accounting for locations where rare earth minerals are mined for the smartphones.