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|Updated: 18.12.2012 15:51|
Protestkampagne gegen Batteriefirma wird fortgesetzt
Über die Protestkampagne die gegen die Hongkonger Batteriefirma Golden Peak wegen der Vergiftung von Arbeitern mit Cadmium von "Global Monitor" geführt wird, hatten wir bereits berichtet (siehe "Aufruf für vergiftete chinesische ArbeiterInnen"). Diese Kampagne soll im Jahr 2006 verstärkt werden, indem der Protest auch an die Kunden von GP herangetragen wird. Der erweiterte (englische) Aufruf "Appeal to international trade unions and NGOs" von Global Monitor vom 4. Februar 2006, samt Informationen über Golden Peak und Musterbrief an Kunden.
Appeal to international trade unions and NGOs
4th Feb 2006
Dear Brothers and Sisters
Since 2004, three factories of the Gold Peak Industrial Holding Company in Guangdong China, has contaminated at least 400 workers with much higher than normal level of cadmium, and at least eight of them has already being officially diagnosis as cadmium poisoning. In Jan 2006, Hong Kong NGOs has discovered that one GP Hong Kong subsidiary has also poisoned three workers with cadmium, and more than two dozens workers with higher than normal level of cadmium. Affected workers were only paid with little compensation, and at one point even being threatened by the company and the local government that if they petition the central government in Beijing again they may end up with criminal charges.
Globalization Monitor, a Hong Kong based NGO, has since then taken up the case and has been campaigning against the GP. We appeal to our brothers and sisters all over the world to help to locate distributors of GP products in your countries, and send letters to them to ask them stop distributing GP products until the company make serious improvement in treating its workers. Attached is a copy of letter to distributors.
For more information on GM and the GP case, please visit:
Thank you. In Solidarity, Globalization Monitor. Contact person: Au Loong Yu. Email: email@example.com
To distributors of GP products worldwide
Since 2004, three factories of the Gold Peak Industrial Holding Company in Guangdong China, has contaminated at least 400 workers with much higher than normal level of cadmium, and at least eight of them has already being officially diagnosis as cadmium poisoning. In Jan 2006, Hong Kong NGOs has discovered that one GP Hong Kong subsidiary has also poisoned three workers with cadmium, and more than two dozens workers with higher than normal level of cadmium. It is now clear that the scale of the poisoning is much more serious than the company initially wanted the public to believe.
Cadmium is a toxic chemical that must be handled with care. However, GP made its workers to process cadmium with little protection and no OSH training for years. In addition to this, it was also widely reported that there might be serious community pollution by the company. One environmental group found that there were higher than normal level of cadmium in the community.
Gold Peak Industrial Holding Ltd (GP) is an Hong Kong and Singapore based Asian TNC. GP’s electronic products are sold all over the world under different brand names. GP CEO Victor Lo Chung Wing, has substantial investments on the Mainland and has developed close ties with well-placed government officials there. He is the largest individual shareholder of TCL, the major electronics company founded by the City Government of Huizhou. Lo was recently appointed to the Executive Council of Hong Kong government by the Chief Executive, Donald Tseng.
There is no transparency at all as to the actual scale of the poisoning. The company releases nothing at all concerning this. And without this, the workers, the community, and the consumers around the world who may buy GP products, are unable to defend their own rights.
In August 2004, dozens of GP workers delegates went to Beijing to petition the Central government. Officials from Huizhou tried to stop them from going. After they returned without any success, on 3rd September, the company went so far as to issue a joint letter to GP workers with the local government to ban them from petitioning the Central government. Given this record of collusion with local government officials, we would not be surprised by the fact that in 24 June 2005, the Huizhou court ruled in favor of GP after workers sued the company.
In Dec 2005 it was reported that when workers went for regular medical check up arranged by the GP, they --- mostly women --- were ordered to remove all clothing, took shower, and then took their urine sample before medical staffs. This is gross violation of basic human rights. When confronted by HK NGOs, the GP representatives denied that it is the company’s order. However, when workers demanded these representatives make public statement on this they refused. This shows that workers’ suspicious of the company involvement in the arrangement may be warranted.
Cadmium is difficult to get out of the body, which implies that it stay in the workers’ bodies for years, and that it may cause cancer and chronic bone pains years later. The workers are concerned that once they leave the factories, or once the factories got winding up, they will be left without any medical care and compensation when they seriously fall ill years later. In August 2005 the GP announced the founding of a special fund for this purpose. However, since then victims who had already left the factories got no information as to the proper procedure for the application of compensation. And the amount of 10 million HK dollars (in fact 4 million has already been spent ) is simply too little for the continuously growing numbers of victims.
GP Workers raised the following demands to the GP management, yet the latter simply turn a deaf ear to all these just demands:
- Children of affected workers: GP should compile and make available to all those concerned a definitive list of the number of children affected and potentially affected by their mothers’ employment at GP factories. GP should also agree to medical checks and expense incurred as a result of the children’s parents coming into contact with cadmium.
- Livelihood compensation should be based on the cost of living and wage levels in Huizhou and humanitarian assistance paid to affected workers in economic difficulties. Those workers who have demanded their jobs back should be offered employment in conditions that meet the standards stipulated in China’s labour and health and safety laws.
- Medicine and food costs incurred as a result of contact with cadmium should be met by the GP Fund.
- GP must provide written assurances accepting its continuing responsibilities to the affected workers even if the Xianjin and Chaoba factories close down or move to another location.
- The current compensation fund is capped at US$1.3 million. This is insufficient to meet the lifelong expenses that the affected workers will have to meet as a result of their employment at GP factories and consequent contact with cadmium. The fund should be increased.
- To date GP has failed to operate the compensation fund in a clear and transparent manner. GP and the factory managements must fully inform the affected workers and concerned organisations of the application procedures and all related procedures.
- The compensation fund should not include compensation resulting from its legal obligations.
- All Mainland victims should be compensated with 200,000 RMB per person.
- All costs incurred to the workers as a result of re-examination procedures, including transport and accommodation, should be met by GP. GP should provide transport when circumstances require. Future check ups and related procedures should be conducted at the Guangdong Province Occupational Disease Prevention and Treatment Hospital and the results made available as soon as possible. Workers who refused a previous check up due to unreasonable and intimidating requests by those carrying out the procedure – such as demands to remove all clothing for a urine test – should be offered another examination at the aforementioned Guangdong hospital and without being forced to remove all clothing for urine test.
- To allow independent trade unions and NGOs representatives to investigate the current working conditions and occupational safety in all GP factories.
We request all distributors of GP products worldwide to write to GP and demand for explanation.
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