Corporate Watch

Apple Cited as Adding to Pollution in China

By DAVID BARBOZA Published: September 1, 2011 SHANGHAI — A Chinese environmental group has singled out Apple for criticism, accusing the company’s Chinese suppliers of discharging polluted waste and toxic metals into surrounding communities and threatening public health. The group, the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing, released a 46-page report Wednesday documenting what it said was pollution from the dozens of “suspected” Apple suppliers throughout China.

Disney factory faces probe into sweatshop suicide claims Human rights campaigners say Chinese factories using children as young as 14 and that workers forced to do overtime A Sturdy Products’ employee works to fulfil orders, for ranges that include Disney ­merchandise. But a monitoring group claims that workers’ rights are often abused Disney's best-selling Cars toys are being made in a factory in China that uses child labour and forces staff to do three times the amount of overtime allowed by law, according to an investigation. One worker reportedly killed herself after being repeatedly shouted at by bosses. Others cited worries over poisonous chemicals. Disney has now launched its own investigation. It is claimed some of the 6,000 employees have to work an extra 120 hours every month to meet demand from western shops for the latest toys.

Foxconn to replace workers with robots

by Steven Musil Foxconn, the hardware manufacturer made famous by a rash of well-publicized suicides, plans to replace some of its workers with robots. The Taiwanese company, which manufacturers laptops, mobile devices, and other hardware for Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Sony, plans to replace factory workers with more than 1 million robots, according to a state news agency Xinhua report. Terry Gou, founder and chairman of the company, told employees at a dance Friday that the move is designed to improve efficiency and combat rising labor costs.

Dismissed workers in central China stage protest over severance pay

The Law on Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases should be changed after the “Poisoned Apple” incident

 Editor’s notes: A number of workers from United Win (China), a Suzhuo based electronics manufacturer and a subsidiary of Wintek Corporation, the Taiwanese company which is a supplier for Apple, were poisoned while using the chemical “Hexane” to wipe Apple Iphones. This incident shows the weakness of the Law on Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases. The writer gives 3 points regarding how the Law should be changed. The first is to improve working conditions, second to simplify the steps in recognition and qualification of occupational injuries and finally to simplify the steps for recognising occupational diseases.   

Railway Workers at Heilongjiang City demand Re-election of Workplace Union to Resist Downsizing

 Editor notes: It has been official policy in China to downsize the number of railway employees. In Heilongjiang City, a north east Chinese city, the local railway bureau forced workers to sign a blank contract so that the adminstration can fill in the blank with whatever conditions they like as a step to large scale dismissal.

Apple Inc admits fault in scandal

 China Daily  By QIAN YANFENG  SHANGHAI - While Apple is enjoying hot worldwide sales of its fashion electronics, its health and environmental responsibilities have come under fire in China. Poisoned workers at one of Apple's supplier factories on the Chinese mainland have demanded a formal written apology from the Mac maker despite its recent acknowledgment of violations in its supply base. The workers also said that some of them have been asked to leave their jobs.

“European Companies Lobbying in China and Chinese Reponses”

“For labor unionists, activists, scholars and advocates who are outside of China -- but deeply interested in what happens inside China -- the process of going beneath the surface of things is very daunting. In the last three decades capitalists have made themselves at home in China and, along with international finance and trade envoys, political representatives and their allies within academia, think tanks, media and public relations, they have burrowed into Chinese government and business elites to powerfully advance their own interests.

Nine suicides highlight the suffering of migrant workers

The rapid development of Foxconn has become a legend. It has been No. 1 on the list of top 200 mainland exporters for seven consecutive years, and in 2009, it climbed to the 109th spot in the Fortune 500. However, in the first half of this year, nine of its employees chose to end their young lives by jumping from buildings, which forces us to explore the heavy price behind the legend.
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