updated 01:12 pm EDT, Thu September 6, 2012
Manufacturer accused of exploiting internships
"Thousands" of students are being "forced" to help build iPhone 5s as a part of an internship with Foxconn, says the Shanghai Daily. University students from Huai'an in Jiangsu province are said to have been driven to a Foxconn factory after the plant couldn't get enough regular workers to assemble the smartphone. The claim is based on an anonymous online post from a computing student at the Hauiyin Institute of Technology, which was then corroborated by several students from "at least" five colleges.
The students are said to be working 12 hours a day, six days a week, for pay of about $243.97 per month. Schools are even claimed to be making accommodations, suspending normal classes to give students time for the internships. One student comments that the school year has been heavily disrupted by the work at Foxconn.
While it's believed to be relatively common for universities in the area to send students to factories for their internships, a local lawyer, Wu Dong, argues that both Foxconn and the schools could potentially be sued for breaking Chinese labor and education laws. Foxconn has been accused of exploiting students and underaged workers in the past. The Daily's report may contradict a document issued by the Fair Labor Association in late August, which stated that Foxconn is reforming how it deals with internships, for instance by eliminating student overtime hours.