We live in a connected world and there’s an increasing awareness among consumers that basic rights must be preserved, even if it impacts product prices. Now over to the iPhone factories, where previous reports claiming workers at Apple partner Wintek were exposed to hazardous chemicals when manufacturing iPhones were this morning confirmed Chinese government-controlled media reports.
Wintek this morning confirmed more workers were affected by the problem than originally thought. The company said 62 of its workers – that’s 15 more than originally reported – had fallen ill after being exposed to toxic chemicals last summer. This is no small problem, either – 41 of the workers are still hospitalised, according to Wintek spokesman, Huang Zhonjie.
Huang said many of the poisoning cases emerged during the company’s own medical checks. Workers at the factory suffered nerve and muscle damage after working with the toxic chemical hexane to clean component touch screens for electronic products, including iPhones and the new iPad, reports claimed.
In its latest corporate audit of supplier compliance, Apple found that three-quarters of the more than 100 suppliers it audited were in compliance with the company’s codes on health and safety.
GlobalPost last year investigated and exposed widespread labour abuses within Wintek, reporting a long history with questionable labour practices in China and elsewhere.