Jobs says Hon Hai factory is just lovely

Steve Jobs says conditions are fine at the Chinese factory where staff have been hurling themselves off the roof in recent weeks.

Since the beginning of this year, a dozen staff have killed themselves at the Scenzhen factory, which makes hardware primarily for Apple, but also for other vendors including HP and Dell.

“Foxconn is not a sweatshop,” Jobs told delegates at the All Things Digital conference. But, he said, Apple was working with Foxconn to improve conditions.

“Apple does one of the best jobs of any company understanding the working conditions of our supply chain,” he said.

Just yesterday it was announced that staff were to receive a 30 percent pay rise from Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai, and HP, Dell, Nokia and others have said they are investigating conditions at the plant, which has 450,000 staff.

“We hope the hike in wages will help improve the living standards of the workers and allow them to have more leisure time, which is good for their health,” aspokesperson for Hon Hai told AFP.

But it sounds like a holiday camp already, according to Jobs.

“You go in this place and it’s a factory but, my gosh, they’ve got restaurants and movie theatres and hospitals and swimming pools. For a factory, it’s pretty nice,” he said.

And not one of these facilities is ever overcrowded – possibly due to the 12-hour working days.