updated 09:55 am EDT, Fri May 29, 2009
Wintek staff set deadline
Wintek workers say they are growing more aggravated by a lack of Apple response to labor rights complaints, and are now asking the latter company to publicly acknowledge workplace violations by May 31st. The employees have been pressuring Apple to enforce its ethics standards, charging Wintek with cutting salaries, neglecting safety problems and demanding unpaid overtime, as well as firing 600 people without warning in December, and wrongfully terminating 19 more workers during a strike in April. Rights groups have also asked for the Electronics Industry Citizen Coalition to investigate Apple's conduct.
Violations are said to have occurred in both Taipei and at a Wintek subsidiary in Dongguan, China. Wintek, a major supplier of flat-panel displays, has reinstated 20 workers since the dispute began and insists it has given proper compensation packages to its jettisoned workers. The company further argues that it is operating within the law, and has threatened legal action should "company and stakeholders interests" become jeopardized. Labor organizations have been accused of violating agreements and encouraging fired workers to "demand unlawful benefits."
Apple has remained relatively quiet about the conflict, only noting that it regularly audits suppliers to ensure compliance with its corporate ethics standards. Some Wintek workers have suggested shifting efforts to other businesses supplied by the company, such as Nokia, Motorola and Samsung.