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Foxconn admits student interns worked night shifts, overtime in breach of own rules

The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer has been under the spotlight after a series of suicides and unrest at its factories in China.

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This picture taken on Feb. 22, 2013 shows a young man walking past a Foxconn recruitment center in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. (AFP/Getty Images)

Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, which assembles products for companies such as Apple, Sony and Nokia, admitted Friday that student interns had worked night shifts and overtime at one of its plants in China in breach of its owns labor rules.

The embarrassing admission came after Chinese media reported last year that students from a university in the central city of Xian were allegedly forced to join Foxconn’s internship program at its Yantai plant in the eastern province of Shandong.

Instead of doing work related to their major, the information engineering students claimed they were assigned to assembly lines to make Sony’s PlayStation game consoles and were forced to toil for up to 11 hours a day.

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They were allegedly told they wouldn't graduate if they quit.

"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 Friday.

"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.”

Foxconn, which has been under the spotlight after a series of suicides and labor unrest at its Chinese plants in recent years, previously admitted employing underage interns at the Yantai factory.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/131011/foxconn-admits-student-interns-worked-overtime