Chinese component manufacturer Foxconn is coming under fire once again after admitting they required student interns to work overtime to build parts for Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4. According to a report from Chinese website Tencent Games (translation), students were forced to work long hours which included night shifts and overtime as Sony prepares to launch their next generation console next month.
Thousands of students from the Xi’an Institute of Technology were reportedly forced to work at the factory in order to earn six course credits required for graduation. That isn’t a huge deal in and of itself but once the students arrived at the facility, they were forced to work menial assembly line jobs that are in no way related to their field of study.
The company said in a statement that immediate actions have been taken to rectify the situation and bring the entire campus into compliance with their codes and policies. What’s more, Foxconn said the student intern work was all voluntary and they were free to leave the program at any time. This of course contradicts the initial report that school credits were at stake.
For their part, Sony isn’t taking any of the blame. In a statement on the matter, the company noted that 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, labor conditions and respect for human rights, environmental conservation and health and safety.