It would appear that the team responsible keeping labor policies intact for at least one Foxconn manufacturing plant in China is in it deep this week as a group of students was found to be working well beyond their normal allotment of intern hours. What we’ve got here is a set of student engineering majors headed for graduation at the Xi’an Institute of Technology working specifically on an order of Sony’s next gaming console: the PlayStation 4. These students worked on a series of tasks at a Foxconn plant which had them staying late and working overtime – strictly against student intern rules in the plant.
Take it how you will, both Sony and the officials in charge of the plant at Foxconn are not pleased. Foxconn went so far as to release a statement with Quartz which spoke directly to the code and policies of this one plant in question, while Sony suggested with MCV that Foxconn has indicated no non-compliance with the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct.
“Immediate actions have been taken to bring that campus into full compliance with our code and policies … of no overtime and no night shifts for student interns, even though such work is voluntary, and reminding all interns of their rights to terminate their participation in the program at any time.” – Foxconn
While it would appear that the students did indeed have the option to leave at any time, the six credits they earned with the internship would be required for them to graduate. Without this internship, it’s been reported by Joystiq, these students would be unable to move forward with their schooling as planned. Tasks on this line of work for the engineering students were said to include such oddities as gluing together parts of the PlayStation 4.
The internship is promoted by the school in plain sight, and its not as if the internship in itself were anything out of the ordinary. The tasks on the assembly line themselves do – no matter how you look at it – seem to have been a bit less-than-fabulous when it comes to being applicable to an engineering degree. According to Tencent Games, tasks also included “giving the PS4 stick tape” like the “labeled anti-open logo” and putting the PS4’s paperwork into the box.