Chinese manufacturer Foxconn has been forcing labor on “thousands of students from an IT engineering program at the Xi’an Institute of Technology” as part the factory’s PS4 manufacturing operation, according reports out of China.
Per GamesInAisa, the reports state that the students are being forced to work at Foxconn’s Yantai plant under the guise of an ‘internship’.
“Students have been told if they refuse to participate, they lose six course credits, which effectively means they will not be able to graduate,” cites the report via MCV. “Students say that their working hours are exactly the same as regular workers – the only difference is that unlike the workers, the students aren’t being paid”.
Sony told MCV that Foxconn has been found to be fully compliant with its own code of conduct.
“The Sony Group established the ‘Sony Supplier Code of Conduct’ in June 2005 with the expectation of every supplier agreeing and adhering to the policies of the Sony Group in complying with all applicable laws, work ethics, labour conditions, and respect for human rights, environmental conservation and health and safety,” it said in a statement.
“We understand Foxconn fully comprehend and comply with this ‘Sony Supplier Code of Conduct’.”
But according to various reports, the students were assigned to jobs that had no relation to their fields of study, including assembling and packing PS4s.
In a statement issued to Quartz, via CVG, the Chinese manufacturer acknowledged that the engineering students who were assigned to night shifts and overtime was done so in direct violation of the company’s policies.
“Immediate actions have been taken to bring that campus into full compliance with our code and policies by reinforcing the 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,” said the statement.