iPhone suppliers workers poisoned in china

February 27, 2010 EcoVadis

A Taiwanese manufacturer that makes LCD screens and components for tech giants like Apple confirmed Thursday that more of its workers in China were sickened by chemical exposure than it previously reported.
Wintek’s Suzhou, China-based factory, which produces electronic components for some of the world’s most popular gadgets including products made by Apple and Nokia, confirmed reports in government-run media that 62 of its workers, 15 more than initially reported, had fallen ill after toxic chemical exposure at work last summer.
This is not a new problem for Wintek which was already under scrutiny following repeated violations of violations of labor codes. Global Post released an interesting “Silicon Sweatshop” five-part series last year chronicling the company’s long history with questionable labor practices in China and elsewhere.
This is bad news for Apple which released last week a very impressive 24 pages “Supplier Responsibility 2010 Progress report” : this report outlines the progress made in deploying Apples code of conduct. The report states that 83% of audited facilities had management systems compliant for “Prevention of chemical exposure” . It would be interesting to know whether Wintek was part of the 17% with issues.
Apple is also well know for the secrecy it imposes on it’s suppliers. Maybe this accident will cause Apple to change some of its practices with suppliers. This has been seen in the past, when after repeated attacks from GreenPeace (including the “Green My Apple” web site), Apple decided to change its practices related to products environmental impacts.

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