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Poisoned Wintek workers appeal to Steve Jobs

updated 01:05 pm EST, Tue February 22, 2011

Apple, Wintek said to owe debts

Five workers claiming to represent poisoned Wintek workers have issued a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Reuters reports. Wintek has admitted to using a chemical called hexyl hydride, also known as n-hexane, to help speed up production of Apple touchscreens between May 2008 and August 2009. N-hexane evaporates faster than alcohol, which Wintek has since returned to as a cleaning agent. Before it cut off n-hexane however a number of Wintek workers complained about serious health issues; Apple and Wintek have admitted to 137 hospitalizations.

In an English version of the letter, the Wintek workers accuse Jobs of being "evasive" about the poisonings, lacking the "courage to admit what has happened." They also charge Wintek with using n-hexane in violation of Chinese law, leading to symptoms such as pain, numb feet and weakened limbs. Apple and Wintek profits have risen in the tens of millions each month as "the accumulated outcome of workers' lives and health," the letter observes.

Workers at the affected Wintek factory in Suzhou, China tell Reuters that they want Apple to deal more thoroughly with the situation. "I hope Apple can respect our labor and our dignity. I hope they can stand up and apologize to us," says Jia Jingchuan, a technician. Other employees claim that Wintek has not given enough compensation to victims, avoided promising future coverage of medical bills, and even put pressure on people who took compensation to leave their jobs.

"We are unable to cope with the medical costs of treatment in the future," says another Wintek worker, Guo Ruiqiang. "We can only stay in the factory and see what happens. We just feel very helpless now."






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Really?

    the Wintek workers accuse Jobs of being "evasive" about the poisonings, lacking the "courage to admit what has happened."

    Yeah, nothing like making an admission that you could then turn around and sue Apple over. It's like a lawyer asking an accident victim "Did the guy say he was sorry????"

    They also charge Wintek with using n-hexane in violation of Chinese law,

    China has law about such things? Who knew? Maybe they didn't think they were covered by the law since the products being made were for the US and other countries. You know, like "You can't put lead in paint (if it is sold in China)".

    Workers at the affected Wintek factory in Suzhou, China tell Reuters that they want Apple to deal more thoroughly with the situation. "I hope Apple can respect our labor and our dignity. I hope they can stand up and apologize to us," says Jia Jingchuan, a technician. Other employees claim that Wintek has not given enough compensation to victims, avoided promising future coverage of medical bills, and even put pressure on people who took compensation to leave their jobs.

    Wow, I didn't realize China had gotten so progressive in their capitalism. It took 150 years of American capitalism before people realized that anyone and everyone involved in an act had some responsibility to compensate, no matter if they knew anything about it. This is huge. China's civil lawyer market is about to skyrocket. Soon enough, they'll be having commercials on China TV "Were you injured in an accident", "Did you take this drug and now have restless leg syndrome?", and the like. Cha-ching!

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Perhaps...

    Someone should send Jobs an iBook link to "The Jungle".

    /

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    please comment if you know something

    if you don't know anything about China, if you've never been there, if you don't speak Chinese, why bother commenting?

    I mean, all you are speaking about is your own prejudices and perceptions, you are certainly not speaking about China.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011

    +3

    comment title

    You know MacNN, I'm getting pissed off with all these stories about poor chinese b******* that wont stop hating on Apple for what ANOTHER COMPANY IS DOING. Apple IS NOT f****** FOXCONN, WINTEK OR ANYONE ELSE. THEY ORDER THEIR PRODUCTS THROUGH THESE COMPANIES LIKE EVERY OTHER TECH GIANT ON EARTH. COMPLAIN TO YOUR f****** EMPLOYER NOT APPLE.

  1. gmsquires

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    This has already been settled

    If I am not mistaken this issue was already resolved, and Apple released a report regarding worker conditions etc in China. Per the report, the workers were compensated by being provided with medical care and all costs were supposed to be covered by Wintek. RTFR MACNN and include the findings in this article. Sombody is sleeping on the job. This article is sadly lacking information.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Re: please comment if you know something

    if you don't know anything about China, if you've never been there, if you don't speak Chinese, why bother commenting?

    So does that mean that if we haven't been to 1 infinite loop, we can't talk about apple? Or if we don't know how to program in Cocoa, we can't complain about a crappy application?

    I'm not exactly sure how knowing Chinese magically makes one more intelligent on a subject than those who don't. Let alone being to China. For should you not comment unless you've been to this particular city in China? To this factory?

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