Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Chinese LCD Factory Goes On Strike Labor Strike May Affect Apple, Nokia Gadgets, Workers Will Get Their Bonus

e out yesterday in East China as workers for Wintek went on strike on
rumors that they would not get their New Years bonus for the second year
in a row. Wintek, a Taiwanese company that manufacturers screens for
mobile phones, including the Apple iPhones and Nokia phones, owns
manufacturing plants in China, which is where the strike took place.
Speculation has this strike potentially slowing the supply of iPhones
and other Nokia phones.
Every year in China, workers look forward to a week off of work on the
Chinese New Year (February 14th, this year), and a hefty bonus (some
sources say the average Chinese worker can expect a bonus equivalent to
$1,000 for the Chinese New Year – take it for what it's worth).
Last year, with the poor economy, Wintek declined to give out the bonus
to employees.
As the New Year holiday approached, rumors circulated around the factory
that Wintek was once again going to decline giving out a holiday bonus
to the workers, which led to the strike. Roughly 20% (2,000 of 10,000)
employees went on strike outside the factory, ceasing production for the
entire facility.
The workers aren't just upset over their bonus.Wintek is known to use
n-hexane, a flamable cleaning chemical that is used in cleaning LCD
screens and causes nervous system failure and death in humans. Hexane
isย illegal in the United States and other Western countries, but still
used frequently in China.
Four workers died in the past year, which the Wintek workers attribute
to the company's use of n-hexane. Wintek replied that one of the
worker's died of heart failure, and the other three were unrelated to
n-hexane, but the workers weren't convinced.
The strike lasted five hours, and riot police responded to keep the
strike from getting violent. At the end of the day, Wintek promised
everybody was getting their New Year's Bonus, and that they haven't used
n-hexane since August. Internet speculation has this strike affecting
supply of Nokia phones, iPhones and the iTablet – when in all
actuality, it probably won't.
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