HP is introducing new policies to crack down on potential abuse of student workers among manufacturing partners in China.
The rule change comes two weeks after Apple said a labour agent in China forged documents on behalf of underage workers. And in November, Samsung revealed that it had conducted on-site inspections of 105 of its Chinese suppliers in a bid to ensure they were compliant with the country’s labour laws.
Now HP has got on board after it was revealed that Foxconn was bringing in hundreds of students from nearby universities as ‘intern’ workers. The firm has stipulated that all workers must be employed voluntarily, and they must be free to leave work at ‘any time upon reasonable notice without negative repercussions’, and they must also have access to ‘reliable and reprisal-free grievance mechanisms’.
HP also added: “Student workers should only engage in work activities that complement the primary degree they are seeking to obtain.”
A spokesman for Foxconn retaliated today claiming that it had been the company’s policy for a long time to not allow student interns to do overtime or night shift work, and also added: “We pay them the same as any other entry-level workers."