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Interview on employees of Apple supplier Wintek

posted 19 Feb 2011, 05:55 by Mpelembe   [ updated 19 Feb 2011, 05:59 ]
Apple Supplier's Employees - Interview on employees of Apple supplier Wintek

Computer giant Apple Inc. released on Tuesday its annual supplier responsibility report, acknowledging inadequate safety provisions at some factories.

For the first time, Apple Inc. admitted one such case last year in which 137 workers were poisoned by unsafe handling of the chemical n-hexane, a solvent which can cause nerve damage. Apple says it had required the supplier, the United Win Technology Ltd. (Wintek), based in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, to stop using the chemical and repair its ventilation system. The supplier replied that the affected employees have been receiving medical treatment and they will keep an eye on them till all of them are fully recovered. However, some affected Wintek employees said they not only suffer from repeated cramping and excessive sweating,but also had to face an unaffordable medical care bill. What's even worse, Wintek has ignored their request of re-examination and even forced them to quit their job.

Wintek employee Guo Ruiqiang said that he is among the affected employees and he went back to work after almost one year's treatment in a local hospital.

Guo Ruiqiang said:"I have been back to my workshop for four months since leaving the hospital. I feel my illness is recurring."

Lot employees had similar experience and feeling as Guo. It was found that almost every affected employee's hospital discharge certificate has a doctor's diagnose as "improved" instead of "recovered".

Guo Ruiqiang said:"On the hospital's discharge certificate, the doctor diagnoses my conditions as 'improved', instead of 'recovered'. Same for everyone of us."

Whenever workers demand another check-up and treatment as pain increased and symptom got worse and worse, their requests are denied.

Jia Jingchuan, another Wintek employee, saidU+FF1A"I began to work on September 1 and in October I reported my health conditions to Wintek and asked for another check-up and treatment, which was rejected. And I was told they have already provided medical care for me and my poor health condition might be caused by such bad habits as smoking or drinking. Actually, I neither drink nor smoke."

Jia also mentioned that among those affected workers, 100 have already quit. If the employees who have resigned wish to receive compensation, they must sign an agreement that frees the company of any future responsibilities.

Jia Jingchuan said:"According to the agreement, the company would bear no responsibility for whatever happens on me, live or dead."

For some of the sickened workers, they have even received phone calls from high-ranking officials, asking them to voluntarily leave their posts.

The medical treatment can last for months, causing a large amount of expense, far beyond the ill employees' ability to afford.

Jia Jingchuan said:"It costs 25,000 yuan (about 3,700 U.S. dollars) each month in hospital and 10 months there would bring the total cost to 250,000 yuan (37,000 dollars). The insurance compensation is 140 thousand yuan (21 thousand dollars) according to my degree of injury. I don't know how many times my illness would relapse."

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