Teens on overtime making Amazon devices

View of Amazon building and glass façade at Santa Clara county facility against cloudless sky

View of Amazon building and glass façade at Santa Clara county facility against cloudless sky

"Amazon and Foxconn responded that they would make improvements to the factory's working conditions", China Labor Watch said.

Foxconn is not alone with these problems, which ultimately point to a bigger issue: The consumer electronics industry's practice to keep products secret until the very last minute, and then ship them on the day of a public unveil, forces manufacturers to use massive overtime cycles, with workers often pushing 60 hours or more.

She told researchers that her teacher initially said she would be working eight hours a day, five days a week but this had since changed to 10 hours a day (including two hours' overtime) for six days a week.

Foxconn said it recently conducted a review of its Hengyang facility and determined that the proportion of contract workers and student interns had on occasion exceeded legal thresholds, and that some interns had been allowed to work overtime or nights. According to leaked documents seen by Guardian, the assembler is exploiting juvenile workers to make up for a shortfall in labor supply and save on costs. Chinese laws state that the factories limit the number of dispatch workers on staff to about 10% of the total to discourage exploitation, but 34% of the Hengyang facility is made up of that worker type, China Labor Watch said. These interns were forced to work overtime and night shifts, which is against local laws, and were being paid less than regular workers. Furthermore, China Labor Watch launched a thorough investigation into the matter and found that schools were actually paid to send students to the factories, and teachers were instructed to encourage or otherwise pressure them to work longer hours using threats that they would have trouble graduating.

The report marks the organization's second critical examination of the factory in more than a year. One student was told her refusal to work would affect her scholarship applications, some were fired, and others were subjected to violence.

Foxconn, which billionaire Terry Gou built into the world's main assembler of iPhones, has grappled for years with allegations about mistreatment of a workforce estimated at a million-plus and drawn from China's vast population of migrant laborers.

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"I tried telling the manager of my line that I didn't want to work overtime", the student told researchers.

In 2017, Foxconn announced its first US -based plant would be in Wisconsin after the state promised the company massive subsidies to build an LCD factory in 2017. "We are urgently investigating these allegations and addressing this with Foxconn at the most senior level".

In a statement emailed to Business Insider, Foxconn admitted that students had been employed illegally and that it is taking immediate action to rectify the situation. The company has sent its investigators to the facility and also plans to the weekly audits of the issue.

"We do not tolerate violations of our Supplier Code of Conduct".

"We have doubled the oversight and monitoring of the internship program with each relevant partner school to ensure that, under no circumstances, will interns [be] allowed to work overtime or nights", the statement said.

"If we find violations, we take appropriate steps, including requesting immediate corrective action", a company spokesperson said.

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