Apple factories under fire over intern exploitation

An investigation by the Fair Labour Association (FLA) has revealed that interns working in Apple factories are being forced to work long hours in order to graduate.

The report disclosed that students are being made to work long hours at the electronic manufacturing factories, which are owed by technology giant Foxconn, in order to pass their university courses.

After an investigation by Mike Daisey on a radio episode on This American Life, which highlighted the questionable standards of Apple’s employment conditions, Apple voluntarily asked the FLA to audit its factories.

The report, which based its findings on three factories in China found that “interns worked overtime and night shifts”, which violated the regulations governing internships. In addition, the report also showed that there was considerable ambiguity regarding the general protections of labour law for interns.

In reaction to the report FLA Foxconn Chairman, Terry Gou has said that he will reduce the hours and improve the pay. According to The Guardian, Mr Gou said at a business conference this month with regards to the interns: “You work fewer hours, but get more pay.”

However, Debbie Chan, a project officer at Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour has said that the “gross violation of forced internship was not addressed” in the report.

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