The Chinese manufacturer of many of Apple’s products has denied allegations that it forced students to work on its assembly lines in a last-minute push to ready the iPhone 5, expected to be unveiled Wednesday.
“Foxconn has long had a short-term internship program that we carry out in cooperation with a number of vocational schools in China,” the company said. The internship programs range in length from one to six months and students all are of legal age to work, the company added.
“We think that this kind of internship is a sham and a kind of forced labor or involuntary work,” said Debby Chan, a spokesperson for the Hong Kong-based Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM). “The placement to work must be relevant to studies and the students must find it beneficial.”
The group had interviewed students from a vocational school who were required to do internships at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant even before the students started first year classes, Chan said.