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Thread: 'Poisoned' Chinese workers turn to Apple for help

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    'Poisoned' Chinese workers turn to Apple for help

    BBC News - 'Poisoned' Chinese workers turn to Apple for help

    Chinese workers injured while making touchscreens for mobile devices, including iPhones, have written to Apple asking it to do more to help them.

    Some 137 workers suffered adverse health effects following exposure to a chemical, known as n-hexane.

    They claim that the Taiwanese factory owner has not given them enough compensation.

    Apple did not offer comment on the letter.

    Five workers, including 27-year-old Jia Jingchuan, have signed a letter to chief executive officer Steve Jobs, asking Apple to offer more help over the incidents.

    They say that the factory owner has not given enough compensation, has pressured those who took compensation to give up their jobs and failed to offer assurance that workers who may suffer fresh illnesses will have medical bills taken care of.

    Long-term damage

    Wintek, the Taiwanese company that owns the factory, said that it used the chemical in place of alcohol because it evaporated more quickly and speeded up production of touchscreens.

    It has now reverted to using alcohol to clean screens.

    Workers exposed to n-hexane experienced faintness and tiredness, sweaty hands and feet, numbness in hands and swelling and pain in feet. Some claim they are still suffering ill-effects
    Should Apple help these workers, or should the Chinese government hold Wintek liable, as it this company that chose to replace the alcohol with the toxic n-hexane?

    I for one think that as more people suffer in China due to poor working conditions, it will become a fad to expect American companies to pay to correct it. Do they hold some responsibility?

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    Re: 'Poisoned' Chinese workers turn to Apple for help

    I think Wintek should be the ones compensation the workers assuming Apple had no part in the n-hexane replacing the alcohol. But then again companies do not outsource to China and other countries because of safer worker conditions or better pay for employees. They outsource because of a lack of safety standards, fair pay, and other stuff that they do not have worry about here in the US. So perhaps Apple should pay.
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    Re: 'Poisoned' Chinese workers turn to Apple for help

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I think Wintek should be the ones compensation the workers assuming Apple had no part in the n-hexane replacing the alcohol.
    OK with you there.. the responsibility for the production decisions lies with Wintek

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    So perhaps Apple should pay.
    Wintek make screens for other companies too - do you support all the other companies compensating these workers too or just Apple?

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    Re: 'Poisoned' Chinese workers turn to Apple for help

    Quote Originally Posted by tlmorg02 View Post
    BBC News - 'Poisoned' Chinese workers turn to Apple for help

    Should Apple help these workers, or should the Chinese government hold Wintek liable, as it this company that chose to replace the alcohol with the toxic n-hexane?

    I for one think that as more people suffer in China due to poor working conditions, it will become a fad to expect American companies to pay to correct it. Do they hold some responsibility?
    Well, of COURSE, Wintek should be held responsible. What did Apple have to do with it other than using them as a vendor? Funny how the factory "can now revert to using alcohol." This is a Chinese government problem. If they don't have something equivalent to OSHA, they'd better start one.

    The workers are going after the deeper pockets. I can't blame them. But Apple, unless they knew workers were being subject to improper concentrations of n-hexane, is blameless.

    NOW, if Apple did know, then I would hope they could be sued by the workers. American companies can't be allowed to do business overseas with impunity....in other words, circumventing our own OSHA laws to be more profitable. (n-hexane is highly regulated by OSHA.)
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    Re: 'Poisoned' Chinese workers turn to Apple for help

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I think Wintek should be the ones compensation the workers assuming Apple had no part in the n-hexane replacing the alcohol. But then again companies do not outsource to China and other countries because of safer worker conditions or better pay for employees. They outsource because of a lack of safety standards, fair pay, and other stuff that they do not have worry about here in the US. So perhaps Apple should pay.
    Wow, James, this is the first time I completely agree with you.

    And Maggie, the last sentence pretty much sums it up. Manufacturing started the same way in North America, and I believe it's only a matter of time before the same evolution will happen with the Chinese. Workers will want more pay, better safety and environment which will lead to cuts in the profits of corporations.
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    Re: 'Poisoned' Chinese workers turn to Apple for help

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Chaos View Post
    OK with you there.. the responsibility for the production decisions lies with Wintek



    Wintek make screens for other companies too - do you support all the other companies compensating these workers too or just Apple?
    I'm assuming that Apple developed a production specification that they had companies bid against to build the product. What does the spec require?
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