Life at the Apple product factories may have improved slightly, but now it looks as if Hon Hai/Foxconn plans to build a huge new plant in north-central China in which it will place some of its Apple-related manufacturing operations. And Apple is reluctant to take part in this plan.

Local government reports claim up to 300,000 new workers will be recruited for the new plant which is to be placed in the city of Hebei. The move follows a series of well-reported suicides at Foxconn factory in Shenzen.

Foxconn makes iPods and iPhones but also works for others, including Dell and HP. The company recently doubled basic salaries in response to the suicides, which some say were caused in reaction to autocratic management, long hours, overtime and low wages.

Workers at the new plant will pick up 1,200 yuan ($176) per month, rising to 2,000 yuan ($300) after a probationary period.

The Financial Times tells us Apple is unhappy about Foxconn

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