Steve Jobs denies Foxconn is a sweatshop

2 Jun 2010

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has denied that iPhone and iPod maker Foxconn is a sweatshop. Jobs made his comments in an on-stage interview at the D8 technology conference in California.

In his first public comments on the spate of recent suicides at Foxconn’s factory in southern China, Jobs described them as “very troubling” and said Apple was “all over this”.

Jobs said it appeared there were “some real issues” at Foxconn, which he said Apple was trying to understand before going in with a solution.

Ten workers have died at Foxconn’s main plant in Shenzhen this year in apparent suicides and two people have been seriously injured.            

With a young 420,000-strong workforce, who are aged mostly between 18 and 24, and with workers living and working on the same premises with on-site dormitories housed beside the offices and manufacturing plants, there have been reports of long hours, low wages and much overtime at the plant in southern China.

Foxconn, founded in 1988, is the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer and makes most of Apple’s iPhones and iPods, as well as devices for other multinational technology firms, including Sony, Dell and Nokia.

The vice-president and spokesman at Hon Hai Precision Industry, Foxconn’s parent company, told the Financial Times last week that the firm plans to raise employee wages by an average of 20pc. However, according to reports today, the company now intends to boost this raise to 30pc.

Photo: Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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