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Wintek workers demand Apple response by May 31st

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.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    I'm puzzled about this...

    These are Wintek employees and they're angry at Apple for supplying Wintek with jobs. I'm not saying these employees don't have a legitimate complaint about working conditions, but aren't they complaining to the wrong company? It wouldn't seem as though Apple were at direct fault here. When a larger company contracts to a smaller company to build parts, it's the smaller company that has the responsibility of managing it's employees in whatever way they seem fit to get the job done. This seems so odd for employees to appeal to the company that ordered the parts.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Re: puzzled

    Not really too odd, I'd say the American companies have more at stake regarding working conditions in factories than Chinese or Taiwanese companies. Think about the embarrassment Nike and Gap received when their factory conditions were revealed.

    Now it's true that this isn't technically an Apple factory but that doesn't really matter unless they're trying to bring a legal case against Apple. All these employees have to do is change public opinion on Apple to gain some leverage. It's a pretty standard strategy: go after the people with the money.

  1. SlimGem

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Unions

    Funny how they went after Apple and not Nokia, Motorola and Samsung. I guess they figured they would get better press from trashing Apple, just like Green Peace does.

    This probably wont amount to much unless the mainstream press starts spouting off about it. In the meantime, I would just ignore them. Let them go after the other companies.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Perhaps

    ...Nokia, Samsung and Motorola don't maintain "Corporate Ethics Standards" with regard to treatment of their suppliers' employee treatment?

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Sue the money

    Its not about getting rights to workers, its about sueing so the lawyers make money. Apple is not the factory, only a customer. Do these people want Apple to take its orders elsewhere causing more layoffs??

    PS. Isn't this a chinese company?? Nuff said. :-)

    Just a thought,
    en

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    Of course!

    These people should be happy they have jobs. Who cares if they're chained to their workbenches, forced to work 16 hours a day, must sleep with the executives, and are whipped for not being productive enough. A job is a job!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Apple's problem

    The issue here is Apple staying silent, hoping it goes away. They're just a bunch of posers on this.

    If you've got a corporate ethics policy on this, there's a reason. You felt, as a company, you're suppliers should treat their workers under some set of rules. But now they're ignoring it completely.

    They need to come out and make a statement, one way or the other. If the place is abiding by their standards, say that. If it isn't, say that and demand action or you'll move your business elsewhere (and this will hurt the business owners more than the workers). But staying quiet just implies to the world that Wintek is guilty, but we don't want to do anything for fear of ruining a business partnership.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Move elsewhere

    Is it possible for Apple to move there business elsewhere? They need millions of specially tailored screens and i don't think its easy to move to another factory.

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    WHAT????

    Poor labor conditions in COMMUNIST China? But how can that be......

  1. manleycreative

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    It's called NAFTA

    Lol. People working in "acceptable" conditions in China is like finding air on the moon. They're lucky they don't have tanks rolling over them.

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