Taiwan’s Foxconn group has said some of its student interns worked overtime and night shifts, in violation of company rules. The firm has been embroiled in a number of scandals regarding poor working conditions.
Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn, which assembles products for Apple, Sony and other major technology firms, admitted that allegations of work rule violations at one of its plants in China were true.
"Regarding the internship program at our Yantai campus, we have determined that there have been a few instances where our policy pertaining to overtime and night shift work were not enforced," the company said in a statement released Friday.
The statement came after Chinese media reported last year that student interns as young as 14 years old worked at Foxconn's Yantai plant during their summer vacations.
Moreover, it became known that the Taiwanese company forced other students enrolled in a Foxconn internship program to work 11 hours a day, doing work not related to their major. Students who wanted to drop out had been told they would lose their internship credits and would be unable to get their diplomas.
Students free to leave internships
Noting that immediate action had been taken to make the campus comply with Foxconn work policies, the firm said it would remind students that they were free to terminate their internship at any time.
"Our priority is to protect the rights of all workers and interns, and we will continue to monitor the program closely to ensure that such infractions are not repeated," the statement said.
Foxconn, which employs more than a million workers in China, has repeatedly been criticized for its tough working conditions, including massive overtime and poor pay. In 2010, at least 13 Foxconn workers in China died in apparent suicides blamed on factory conditions.
As a result of the criticism, the Taiwanese firm has raised wages by nearly 70 percent recently and has promised to cut back on overtime.
uhe/ph (AFP, dpa)