Riots Break Out At Chinese Touchscreen Factory

The employees in a factory owned by Wintek Corp., the people that make the touchscreen components for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, are going on strike. The altercation arose after the local government found no evidence supporting claims that several employees had died due to exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace. Employees disagree with the report, and have destroyed several pieces of equipment and damaged multiple vehicles in response.

The incident occurred last Friday in the Suzhou Industrial Park, where they also blocked a roadway and threw rocks at police. No casualties reportedly resulted from the conflict.

Reports said it was in response to a canceled bonus in 2009, but an employee told a newspaper that it was out of concern for their health.

“What we feel angry about is the company authorities’ apathy to our workers’ health,” said a worker named Zhu, adding that he believed they were all being overworked and underpaid.

Employees say the factory contained a strong chemical smell that they suspect contributed to the deaths of coworkers. One of them was found to have died from congenital heart disease, but his peers think otherwise.

They believe the substance to blame for both the smell and the deaths is hexane, a toxic chemical used to clean touchscreen panels at the factory that also is known to cause nervous system failure in humans.

Analysts speculate that the riots may cause delays in touchscreen component shipments for the iPhone and iPod touch.

[via China Daily]The employees in a factory owned by Wintek Corp., the people that make the touchscreen components for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, are going on strike. The altercation arose after the local government found no evidence supporting claims that several employees had died due to exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace. Employees disagree with the report, and have destroyed several pieces of equipment and damaged multiple vehicles in response.

The incident occurred last Friday in the Suzhou Industrial Park, where they also blocked a roadway and threw rocks at police. No casualties reportedly resulted from the conflict.

Reports said it was in response to a canceled bonus in 2009, but an employee told a newspaper that it was out of concern for their health.

“What we feel angry about is the company authorities’ apathy to our workers’ health,” said a worker named Zhu, adding that he believed they were all being overworked and underpaid.

Employees say the factory contained a strong chemical smell that they suspect contributed to the deaths of coworkers. One of them was found to have died from congenital heart disease, but his peers think otherwise.

They believe the substance to blame for both the smell and the deaths is hexane, a toxic chemical used to clean touchscreen panels at the factory that also is known to cause nervous system failure in humans.

Analysts speculate that the riots may cause delays in touchscreen component shipments for the iPhone and iPod touch.

[via China Daily]

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