Foxconn is back in the news for yet another unfortunate story. The Chinese production facility just wrapped up a labor investigation and it seems that "fair labor" is not in Foxconn's vocabulary. This time, it has to do with college interns. It is being reported that student interns have been voluntarily forced into working overtime to meet the increasing demands of the Sony PlayStation 4.
Several thousand students coming from China's Xi'an Institute of Technology have been working at the Foxconn facilities in exchange for six credit hours that are required for the students to graduate from the university's program. However, this was much less of a learning experience and more like true hard labor. The students were allegedly placed on assembly lines and other hand-heavy tasks which did not fall into anything related to what the students were studying. From what the reports say, these kids were also subjected to ten hour long days, as well as late-night shifts and 40-plus-hour work weeks.
Foxconn has responded to these claims, saying that,
...Immediate actions have been taken to bring that campus into full compliance with our code and policies. (The company is) reinforcing the policies of no overtime and no night shifts for student interns.
Foxconn also said that the students in the intern program could have "terminated their participation in the program at any time." However, the reports claim that the school was willing to hold any graduation ability or course credits of those who elected to end their participation early.
Of course, Sony is denying any wrongdoing as well, saying that Foxconn was completely compliant and that the company was "complying with all applicable laws, work ethics, labor conditions, and respect for human rights, environmental conservation, and health and safety."
It seems suspect that hundreds of college students in China would speak only about something that never really happened, especially if all of the stories match up with each other. If any of this comes out to be true, Foxconn will surely have another Fair Labor Association investigation, but hopefully this time they will follow through with looking into the actual issues instead of dancing along the red tape.