Apple Supplier Foxconn Accused of Forcing 32,000 Students to Work in its Factories

The Chinese supplier denies that the interns were forced labor.


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The New York Times: Just days before the expected launch of a new iPhone, one of Apple's largest suppliers is again facing accusations of unfair labor practices. Activists from China Labor Watch have accused China-based Foxconn of forcing 32,000 students, including many on the iPhone 5 line, to work in its factories. “They said they are forced to work by the teachers,” said group founder Li Qiang. “They don’t want to work there — they want to learn,” he added. “But if they don’t work, they are told they will not graduate, because it is a very busy time with the new iPhone coming, and Foxconn does not have enough workers without the students.”

Foxconn denied the charges, although the company did admit that 2.7 percent of its 1.2 million workers were student interns. A Foxconn spokesperson said that it followed all of China's labor laws and that the students are free to leave at any time.

Tags: China, Apple, Foxconn, iPhone 5

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