Wednesday, 8 September 2010

iPhone contractor Wintek sued over poisoning

       According to Stratfor Global Intelligence, 44 workers from a factory in Suzhou, China plan to sue the iPhone contractor Wintek after they were exposed to poison while cleaning iPhone screens with the chemical "n-hexane."

      The firm says 62 workers have been hospitalized in the last 9 months due to n-hexane poisoning. The poisoning is so serious that it can "cause nerve damage and sometimes paralysis."

      Stratfor goes on to say that a factory manager at the plant made the workers use the chemical because it dries faster than standard alcohol, and also leaves less streaks. That manager has since been fired.

      The issue first went public in January when 2000 protesters began smashing car windows and factory windows over a dispute relating to year-end bonuses.

       Stratfor adds:
"Lawsuits of any kind are uncommon in China, where disputes are usually addressed quietly behind closed doors. Much more common is labor abuse, and given the rising power of workers, we can expect to see more such suits, which provide legal outlets for social tension, a constant concern for Beijing."