The California-based maker of iPods, iPhones and iPads acknowledged for the first time in the Apple Supplier Responsibility 2011 Progress Report on Tuesday that 137 workers at the Suzhou facility of Wintek, one of Apple's touch screen suppliers, had suffered adverse health effects following exposure to n-hexane, a chemical in cleaning agents used in some manufacturing processes.
But Jia Jingchuan, a 27-year-old victim at the Suzhou factory, said the Apple acknowledgment meant nothing to victims like him and that their rights continued to be under threat.
"I got a call last week from the company asking me to leave. They promised to give me 140,000 yuan ($21,253) in compensation for my departure, but only on condition that I sign an exemption agreement, which means the company would not take any responsibility if my health worsened in the future," he said.
"But what happened here is obviously a violation of its supplier code. Apple should give us a written apology for this."
Chronic worker dissatisfaction with management and wages at Wintek as well as the poison scandal erupted in violence in mid-January last year, when more than 2,000 employees gathered at the factory in Suzhou Industrial Park early one morning and smashed vehicles and factory facilities.