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In 2009 a number of workers from United Win (China), a Suzhuo based electronic 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. In the “Apple Supplier Responsibility Progress Report” released on 15 February 2011, Apple admitted that United Win (China) was its supplier, and had subsequently sent Apple staff to speak to United Win workers on 22 February 2011. On the same day, United Win workers issued a letter to Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs to ask for Apple’s account.
On 2 March 2011 (US time), the grand launching day of Apples Ipad 2, 22 poisoned workers in United Win with recurring symptoms bargained with management for immediate checkup and follow-up treatment. The workers also reveal that although on shop floor a fan system has been installed, the two chemicals, “isopropanol” and “acetone” that have replaced the original “hexane” still contain irritating elements and are still poisonous – these two chemicals likely cause headaches, dizziness, and in the long run may cause cancer or severe allergic reactions.

The protective measures offered by United Win to the workers are insufficient – each day a worker only receives a thin paper face mask, which cannot filter the gaseous fumes emitted by the chemicals. But until 3 March, workers still receive no positive responses from United Win nor Apple. Workers’ health is worsening and feeling desperate about their situation.

  • To date, more than 435 key activists and leaders from around the world have endorsed the statement and list of demands contained in the petition.  To sign the petition, see the entire text and to view the list of endorsements, click here.

Recently we learned that Kim Joo hyun, a 26-year-old man who worked in the Samsung electronics LCD factory in Chun-ahn city in Korea, jumped from the roof of the dormitory and killed himself in the early morning of January 11. He suffered from skin disease due to chemicals and depression because of severe job stress.  This shocking news is even more disturbing since it follows a rash of similar suicides by young workers at the Foxconn factory in China and inspires us to increase our determination to bring justice for the Samsung workers and families.

In memory of Kim Joo hyun, we ask that you join the Samsung Accountability Campaign on the Causes page here.

  • Supporters for the Health and Rights of People in the Semiconductor Industry, Korean Metal Workers’ Union, Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational Accident Victims and the International Campaign for Responsible Technology announced on March 2nd the formation of a new campaign. The international campaign is calling on Samsung to accept responsibility for the deaths of workers who suffered from occupational cancer.People from more than 35 countries have now signed the petition.  Join them by signing today and forwarding it to your friends and family.