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Now you have found out what the ‘true costs’ of the manufacturing of a mobile phone are, the question arises: what´s the response of the companies, of the big brands?

From: SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, is a non-profit organisation founded in Hong Kong)
To: makeITfair
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 5:46 AM
Subject: poisoned Wintek workers await Apple.s response
  Dear friends,

Wintek is a Taiwanese IT manufacturer, producing touch screens for Apple. In 2009, over 137 workers were poisoned by n-hexane when cleaning iPhone screens. Although the victims have been discharged from hospitals, some of them are not fully recovered from the poisoning. Currently, some of them have symptoms of relapse, including sweaty hands and feet, weak limbs, sometimes cramp in legs. After the poisoning, some workers are very ill. A young female worker was even paralysed due to the poisoning. As such, the workers are anxious about their health.

Recently, 14 workers have gone to different hospitals for health examinations. The medical reports suggested immediate medical treatment. Nevertheless, the workers can hardly afford the medical fees. They asked Wintek and Apple to take care of the issue, but this was rejected. And some other workers also suspect there is an incubation period of the occupational disease.

In January, the poisoned Wintek workers wrote to Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple. They hope that Apple will take care of the medical treatment of the poisoned workers. To date, the workers have written three letters to Steve Jobs, but there is no response from Apple at all. Despite the poisoning case being reported in the 2011 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, Apple has never apologized to the poisoned workers or provided remedies to them.

SACOM demands:
  1. Wintek to offer check-ups and follow-up treatments to the workers in hospitals that recognized and trusted by the workers immediately. Meanwhile, Wintek should pay workers salaries, and sufficient allowance for hospitalization and food.
  2. Apple and Wintek to provide additional compensation to all the victims for causing the poisoning and failing to protect workers from occupational disease. Additionally, the two companies should apologize to the workers concerned.
  3. Apple to monitor and pay for the rectification of Wintek. Apple should not cut the orders from Wintek and should provide workers with suitable and effective protective measures and equipments.

Click here for the response of Apple.

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