Teenage students have been working illegal overtime to assemble the iPhone X at Apple's main supplier in Asia, six of them tell the Financial Times. The students, ages 17 to 19, say their school has been "forc[ing]" them to work at the factory in Zhengzhou, China, that is run by Foxconn since September and that they regularly work 11-hour days putting together as many as 1,200 iPhone X cameras each day. They say the Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School told 3,000 students they must work at the factory for three months as part of a "work experience" requirement for graduation, but, says one, "the work has nothing to do with our studies."
When presented with the allegations, the school didn't comment, but both Apple and Foxconn said they had discovered student interns working more than 40 hours per week and were working to remedy the situation. But Apple's statement, which Ars Technica has in full, insists the students "worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits," while Foxconn's statement echoes that "all work was voluntary and compensated appropriately." Foxconn has been struggling with delays following production problems, and while the Zhengzhou factory always hires students during its busy season between August and December, a longtime Foxconn employee says this year it needed to hire more than usual. Another source says the local education ministry issued notices asking all vocational schools in the province to send "work experience students" to Foxconn.