Workers Sickened at Apple Supplier in China

I’ve never been a Mac-addict.  I’ve been a PC fan since I first laid hands on the IBM PC and before that I was trying to build an S100.

I’ve never liked Apple’s monopolistic practices and closed structure.  I am pretty DIY when it comes to computers and with a couple of exceptions my name is the name that goes on the box.

And yeah I use Microsnot OS and Office as well as Adobe products.  But I could use Linux if I wanted to.

Yeah Apple products are seductively designed, sleek and pretty but I’m a hippie and practical.  I can’t see paying twice as much for pretty over something with more memory, bigger hard drive and screws that lets me open my laptop’s case and pop in a different drive or more memory.

The computers I built last year blow the socks off anything we could have gotten for the same money with a brand name on the case and I know the parts that went in were the best I could afford and individually researched rather than lining the pockets of the Corp suits with initials.

Which brings us to Apple and it exploitation of virtual slave labor in China:

From The New York Times:

Published: February 22, 2011

SUZHOU, China — Last week, when Apple released its annual review of labor conditions at its global suppliers, one startling revelation stood out: 137 workers at a factory here had been seriously injured by a toxic chemical used in making the signature slick glass screens of the iPhone.

Apple, describing it as a “core violation” of worker safety, said that it had ordered the contractor to stop using the chemical and to improve safety conditions at the plant. Apple also said that it would monitor the medical conditions of those workers.

But in interviews last weekend, nearly a dozen employees who say they were harmed by the chemical said they had never heard from anyone at Apple.

Instead, they said the contractor — a Taiwanese-owned company called Wintek — had pressed them and many other affected workers to resign and accept cash settlements that would absolve the factory of future liability, charges the company denied.

“We hope Apple will heed to its corporate social responsibility,” said Jia Jingchuan, 27. He said exposure at the Wintek plant to the chemical, known as n-hexane, had left him with nerve damage and made him so hypersensitive to cold that he now must wear down-insulated clothing even indoors. “Usually someone my age doesn’t wear this type of pants,” he said raising his voice. “Only 50- or 60-year-old men wear something like this.”

On Monday, however, a Wintek spokesman denied that the company was pressing workers to resign or sign papers absolving the company of future liability.

The company said it was working with medical professionals to assess the health of workers. Jay Huang, the spokesman, even suggested that Wintek would pay for medical care should the symptoms persist after workers resign.

“Wintek’s policy of handling this is to put workers’ benefit as the first priority,” he said.

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., declined to discuss the Wintek case but said the company was committed to the highest standards of social responsibility in its supply chain. “We require our suppliers to provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect and use environmentally friendly manufacturing processes whenever our products are made,” she said.

Continue reading:

As for me I was factory certified on the Apple II, Apple III, Lisa and Mac.  I remember what lying shits apple technical used to be.  Especially about Lisa.

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