iPhone maker Foxconn has been accused of using slavery-like tactics by forcing thousands of underage students to work at the company’s production plant in East China.
The company failed to recruit the number of employees required, approximately 10,000, to make USB cables for the much anticipated iPhone 5.
Although Foxconn have invested over $210 million in new production lines, it is despicable that students are being forced to take time away from their education, while being paid just $243.97 a month for working 12 hour shifts, 6 days a week and being forced to work overtime if they fail to complete daily tasks.
The company has defended itself by claiming that students are free to leave the factory, but some schools have temporarily closed to enable the factory to ramp-up production of the iPhone 5.
In a desperate PR move, Foxconn have also highlighted a Fair Labor Association audit that found “no evidence that any interns were pressured to participate.”
However, the audit was conducted in March, before these students were taken to the plant, and the report still found “serious and pressing” violations of Chinese labor laws.
Around 200 students from one school, the Huaiyin Institute of Technology, were driven to the factory without the knowledge or consent of students or parents, allegedly under order from the authorities.
According to China Daily, one parent, Wang Yang, said “I don’t mind if my daughter finds a part-time job during the summer vacation, but spending school hours on such nonsense is a waste of time.”