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Suicides_ Cancers in Asian Electronics Plants DR “No Sweat

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					            Inside:      DR “No Sweat” Factory Up and Running
          APHA OHS
        International    Network members made a second site visit to            and safe working conditions (see box for links for
           Award for     the Alta Gracia Project garment factory in the         both).
     Korea’s Dr. Kong    Dominican Republic in June as the “no sweat”               The MHSSN team, who all volunteered their
               page 2    plant producing university-logo clothing kicked        time while Knights Apparel picked up the travel
                         into full production. The plant visits are part of a   expenses, consisted of Network Coordinator
        More informa-    year-long MHSSN effort to ensure safe and healthy
      tion on the Alta                                                          Garrett Brown, Mariano Kramer, a recently
                         conditions at the paradigm-changing factory.           retired Cal/OSHA Senior Safety Engineer who
        Gracia project
               page 3        More than 125 workers in Villa Altagracia          coordinated the agency’s garment sweatshop
                         are now producing T-shirts and hooded sweat-           sweeps in Los Angeles, and Valeria Velazquez,
      Photos: MHSSN      shirts for South Carolina-based Knights Apparel,       a health educator from UC Berkeley’s Labor
        Volunteers At    a major supplier to US universities including          Occupational Health Program.
               Work
                         Duke, Harvard and the University of California            During the site visits, the OHS team found
               page 4
                         system. The New York Times ran a lengthy arti-         many of the usual hazards associated with
           Electronics   cle on the project in July and the Workers Rights      garment factories – electrical system issues,
           Campaign      Consortium website describes the facility’s com-       machine guarding concerns, ergonomic risks
         Information     pliance with the organization’s “no sweatshop”         from highly repetitive work, chemical exposures
               page 6    criteria for a “living wage,” union representation                                  (See "No-Sweat", page 3)
       US Delegation
         Prepares for
            ANROAV
         Conference
               page 6    Suicides, Cancers in Asian Electronics Plants
     Johnson Controls
                         Brand-name and contract electronics manufactur-        suicide. All workers were between 18 and 24, and
         Workers Win
          One Round,     ers have been rocked this year by a series of ongo-    were migrants from rural areas of western China.
       Continue Fight    ing scandals about working conditions in the Asian         By the end of May 2010, at least 49 young
               page 7    plants that work day and night to produce the vast     semiconductor workers had contracted cancer
                         majority of the world’s consumer electronics.          – including 32 brain, leukemia and lymphoma
      New Resources
                             The worker suicides and cancer cases have          cancers – while working at Samsung’s huge elec-
               page 8
                         called into question the effectiveness of electron-    tronics plants throughout Korea. Nineteen deaths
       NETWORKING        ics brands’ elaborate “corporate social responsibil-   have occurred, mostly to workers in their 20s.
            NOTES        ity” (CSR) programs, their contradictory business      Samsung denied the cancers were work-related,
               page 8    model, and the near-zero participation by workers      but a Korean magazine reprinted an internal
                         in factory health and safety programs.                 Samsung handbook outlining the use of at least
        Quotes of the
              Month          In the first five months of 2010 at Foxconn        six carcinogens at its plants, including arsine, ben-
               page 9    Technology Group’s giant 300,000-worker elec-          zene, and trichloroethylene.
                         tronics assembly plant in Longhua, China, 16               On July 22nd, a broad coalition of over 40
        MHSSN Wins       workers attempted suicide by jumping off the           European, Australian and U.S. investors joined
         Award from
                         top of tall dormitory buildings, resulting in 12       their voices to issue a public statement condemn-
     AIHA Committee
               page 9    deaths and four crippling injuries, and at least 20    ing abusive workplace conditions in the global
                         other workers were restrained before committing                                    (See Asian Plants, page 5)



Volume XI, Number 2                                                                                                      August 2010
  Letter from the Coordinator
      Amazingly, it turns out that the most     union leaders, Chinese government and          deployed Prime Minister Wen Jiabao,
  vibrant, effective and democratic labor       security apparatus, and powerful foreign       aka ‘Grandpa Wen,’ who told laborers at
  unions in the world today are the factory-    corporations, to achieve real improvements     a Beijing subway station that the govern-
  based organizations of migrant workers in     in their lives and working conditions.         ment and society ‘should treat migrant
  China!                                            After 15+ years of global corporate        workers as they would their own chil-
      This spring and summer, young,            social responsibility (CSR) departments        dren.’ China’s exploited workers don’t
  previously rural migrant workers              and programs – now a $40 billion a year        need an extra parent. They need higher
  from western China have undertaken            “cottage industry” – the people who            wages, better working conditions and
  repeated, successful strikes against global   brought these workers a “living wage”          a chance to form independent unions.
  transnational corporations that have won      and genuine “worker empowerment”               They need China to stop being a sweat-
  the workers significant wage increases,       were the factory workers themselves.           shop to the world.”
  improved working conditions, and                   If the transnational corporations –           Of course, the Chinese government
  promises of no retaliation against indi-      which spend millions a year on CSR             needs to protect workers in China, espe-
  vidual workers or the plant workforce as      activities – are really serious about worker   cially a government that claims to be
  a whole.                                      empowerment and living wages for work-         “Communist.” But the Times’ admoni-
      The striking workers, operating com-      ers in their far-flung supply chains, then     tions to the Chinese government also
  pletely apart from the party-run official     they could seize this moment to allow          apply to the transnational corporations
  trade unions, elected their own leaders,      workers to form genuine, member-con-           which roam the world looking for the
  conducted their own negotiations, and         trolled unions, and then negotiate with        most vulnerable, exploitable workers and
  submitted any proposals and tentative         these unions for higher wages, better treat-   the most pliant, subservient governments,
  agreements to approval by all affected        ment, and safer working conditions.            and which play country against country,
  workers in plant assemblies, where every-                                                    region against region, city against city, in
                                                    Alas, the first response of many trans-
  one had equal voice and vote. This is                                                        their relentless search for the lowest pay,
                                                national corporations in China – led
  an instructive example for unions in the                                                     least enforcement and greatest subsidies.
                                                by the athletic footwear and equipment
  United States, as well as in “Communist”      industry – was to announce that they               The Times editorial has it right for all
  China.                                        will be shifting production out of China       workers in global supply chains: “They
      The supposedly unsophisticated, ex-       altogether. The now-preferred, more            need higher wages, better working condi-
  peasant workers successfully managed          “business friendly” countries include          tions and a chance to form independent
  to “thread the needle” between Chinese        Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh,             unions.” The transnational corporations
                                                where workers are paid even less than in       that claim to be sincerely interested in
                                                China, have even fewer rights than in          being “socially responsible” have yet
                                                China, and have not yet rebelled on the        another chance to prove it – they can
    Border/Line Health & Safety                 scale of China’s migrant workers.              end the policies and practices that have
    is published three times a year by the:                                                    created sweatshops in China, and else-
                                                    On July 5th, the New York Times
    Maquiladora Health and Safety Network,                                                     where, and make good on their many
                                                published an editorial titled “China,
    P.O. Box 124,                                                                              promises to support worker empower-
                                                the Sweatshop.” The national paper of
    Berkeley CA 94701-0124                                                                     ment, living wages, sustainable produc-
                                                record noted “the labor strife spreading
    phone: 510-558-1014                                                                        tion, and community development.
                                                through China’s factory cities has clearly
    e-mail: garrettdbrown@comcast.net           frazzled the government. Last month, it           We’ll see… ■

    Editor: Garrett Brown
    Design/layout: Heather Block
                                                  APHA OHS International Award for Korea’s Dr. Kong
    To subscribe to the Support Network’s
    electronic newsletter sent by email,          The Occupational Safety and Health (OHS) Section of the American Public Health
    please send a subscription request to         Association (APHA) has awarded its 2010 International Award to Korean occupa-
                                                  tional physician and outstanding activist Dr. Jeong-ok Kong. Dr. Kong is a leader
    Coordinator Garrett Brown at
                                                  of the SHARPS – Supporters of Health and Rights of People in the Semiconductor
    garrettdbrown@comcast.net
                                                  Industry, which is leading a campaign against the giant Samsung Corporation to
    The Support Network has an extensive          take responsibility for cancer deaths among its young workers and eliminate carci-
    Reading and Resource List posted on           nogenic exposures in its factories. The prestigious award will be presented at the
    the web site: www.igc.org/mhssn               APHA conference in Denver, CO, in November.



Volume XI, Number 2                                                •2•                                                          August 2010
  ("No-Sweat", from page 1)                         safety committee on site. The committee         ing a federation-level health and safety
  from the “spot remover” solvents and              has taken on the responsibility for main-       department.
  airborne cotton dust, and heat illness            taining safe conditions through periodic            The concept behind the Alta
  concerns in a non-air conditioned factory         facility inspections, accident and illness      Gracia plant is the brainchild of the
  in the tropics.                                   investigations, verification of hazard cor-     Washington-based Workers Rights
      In a refreshing change from many              rections, and training the plant workforce      Consortium (WRC), a labor rights non-
  garment operations, however, these issues         on topics such as ergonomics, chemical          governmental organization contracted by
  have been rapidly addressed by plant              hazards, heat illness, and emergency            over 185 universities, and cities like Los
  management, assisted by both their inter-         action plans.                                   Angeles and San Francisco, to ensure
  national customer, Knights Apparel, and               In the US, a plant H&S committee            that their “sweat free” logo clothing is
  by the union which was formed between             and these kinds of activities might seem        actually produced under decent condi-
  the two site visits.                              unremarkable and routine. But in the            tions.
     Safety-related changes in the factory,         DR, as in other developing countries                For years the WRC proposed a model
  both before and after the MHSSN visits,           where the world’s garments are pro-             where workers were paid a living wage,
  have included:                                    duced, this is very unusual and essential       had decent conditions, and could exer-
                                                    for establishing and maintaining a safe         cise their right to form a union – while
  ■	   installation of brand new electrical cir-
                                                    workplace.                                      the apparel retailer could advertise an
       cuits in the building and equipment;
                                                        The Dominican Republic, with a              attractive “no sweat” brand to socially-
  ■	   upgraded guards on sewing machines
                                                    population of 9.8 million and a work-           conscious students and alumni – and
       and other equipment’s belts and nip
                                                    force of 4.4 million, has only nine gov-        university code compliance officers
       points;
                                                    ernment health and safety inspectors for        could leave behind the constant worry,
  ■	   improved lockout/tagout procedures for       the entire country. Occupational health         and frequent occurrence, of scandals
       maintenance and operations;                  and safety in the DR is almost totally          about terrible working conditions in their
  ■	   use of state of the art, ergonomically-      dependent on active, effective commit-          supposedly “sweat free” supply chains.
       correct chairs by sewing machine             tees and programs on a workplace level.              The Alta Gracia factory is off to a
       operators;                                   Most plants in the DR have inactive, or         promising start, and working conditions
  ■	   installation of an effective local exhaust   only nominal, plant safety committees           are head and shoulders above those in
       system to remove solvent vapors from         and OHS programs.                               other garment plants in global supply
       the spot removing room;                           The day after the Alta Gracia site         chains. Hopefully this fall, US universi-
  ■	   substitution of less toxic cleaners for      visit in June, the MHSSN team put on a          ties will place big enough orders with
       solvents typically used in the industry      full-day training in Santo Domingo with         the plant so that it goes beyond “novelty
       (methylene chloride and toluene);            representatives of seven of the union           status” to being a going concern and an
                                                    federation’s nine plant locals, including       alternative model to the “race to the bot-
  ■	   housekeeping procedures that mandate
                                                    Alta Gracia, as well as representatives         tom” in a world of sweatshops.
       vacuuming production areas several
                                                    of Fundación Laboral, a leading labor               For our Network, we have continu-
       times a day to reduce settled and air-
                                                    rights organization in the DR, and Batay        ing interest in efforts to maintain safe
       borne dusts;
                                                    Ouvriye, a labor rights group from neigh-       conditions in the Ala Gracia plant and
  ■	   installation of additional roof fans to      boring Haiti.                                   in expanding work with the free trade
       reduce the building’s heat load, and
                                                        The goal of the Santo Domingo train-        zone unions and workers rights organi-
       procedures for mandatory water breaks
                                                    ing was to begin the process of building        zations on the island. Anyone interested
       during high temperature periods; and
                                                    OHS capacity and a safety culture in the        in possible follow-up projects should
  ■	   provision of appropriate personal pro-       plants represented by the union federa-         contact Coordinator Garrett Brown at
       tective equipment for cloth cutting,         tion, which itself is considering establish-    garrettdbrown@comcast.net. ■
       chemical use, and material handling
       operations.
      As part of the June site visit, LOHP’s           For more information on the Alta Gracia project
  Velazquez conducted a three-hour train-
  ing on ergonomics, and the elements of              ■	   Webpage of the Workers Rights Consortium at http://www.workersrights.org/
  effective health and safety committees,                  verification.asp
  with 30 plant employees – both manag-               ■	   Photographic depiction of the production process at the plant at
  ers and union members.                                   http://mhssn.igc.org/AltaGarcia.htm
     Under Dominican law, the plant is                ■	   New York Times July 16th article on the project at http://www.nytimes.com/
  required to establish a joint heath and                  2010/07/18/business/global/18shirt.html?_r=1&emc=eta1



Volume XI, Number 2                                                      •3•                                                        August 2010
                                                        Mariano Kramer and Garrett Brown meeting with plant manager
                                                        Fernando Flaquer.




 Mariano Kramer inspecting the Alta Gracia plant with
 maintenance manager Fanny Gil.                                  MHSSN Volunteers At Work
                                                                 MHSSN Volunteers At Work
 Mariano Kramer, Valeria Velazquez and Garrett Brown with
 participants in the Santo Domingo training with Dominican
 organizations, the Free Trade Zone union federation and         Valeria Velazquez conducts a training with Alta Gracia workers
 Fundación Laboral, and the Haitian organization Batay Ouvriye   and managers.




Volume XI, Number 2                                          •4•                                                      August 2010
  (Asian Plants, from page 1)                      “I know why all those people               time for working hours and 25% of the
  electronics supply chain.                    jumped,” 23-year-old Lin Fengxiang told        time for 6-day work weeks at Foxconn.
      “Worker abuses such as excessive         a national Chinese newspaper, “In here         Numerous reports by non-governmental
  overtime and supervisor harassment           nobody gives a damn about you.” Trainee        organizations since 2006 have docu-
  which are endemic in the electronics         Li Cheng (paid a reduced wage during           mented worsening conditions as Apple’s
  manufacturing sector have been cited         the months-long “trainee” period) told         demand for iPhone and iPad production
  by non‐governmental organizations as         the same reporter, “This is their territory.   has skyrocketed in the last four years.
  contributing to excessive stress and grave   We can only try to survive.”                   Foxconn facilities reportedly produce
  mental health issues among factory work-          A Beijing sociology professor wrote       70% of Apple products.
  ers,” according to the investor coalition.   in the Southern Metropolitan Daily in               It should be noted that Apple’s code
       The investor groups, led by Boston      Guangzhou on May 17th, “People can-            allowing 20 hours a week of overtime
  Common Asset Management, LLC,                not help but ask, what kind of world           – the same as the industry’s Electronics
  Trillium Asset Management Corporation,       has Foxconn created?...In the eyes of          Industry Citizen Coalition code – explic-
  As You Sow and Domini Social                 Foxconn’s managers, the only real thing        itly violates China’s national law pro-
  Investments LLC – all members of the         there is in young people’s lives is the        hibiting overtime greater than 9 hours a
  New York City-based Interfaith Center        sweat and blood needed for the produc-         week or 36 hours a month. Work weeks
  on Corporate Responsibility – seek to        tion line. Their feelings, their personal      of 70 to 80 hours also renders completely
  “send a strong message to the electronics    life, and their social networks are sys-       meaningless reported “CSR compliance”
  manufacturers in their portfolios urging     tematically neglected, compressed and          with chemical and noise exposure limits,
  stricter supply chain compliance.”           stripped away…Of course, this kind of          as these limits assume exposures lasting
                                               factory is a sweatshop.”                       only 40 hours a week.
      The investors’ statement can be
  found at: http://www.iccr.org/news/press_        Both Foxconn and Apple have strenu-            Apple issued in July its “Supplier
  releases/pdf%20files/072210Foxconn.pdf       ously denied the worker suicides are a         Responsibility: 2010 Progress Report”
                                               reflection of sweatshop working condi-         which indicated that of the 102 plants it
  Foxconn • Apple • Dell • HP                  tions. But Apple’s own CSR program has         audited in eight countries, 69% of plants
  At Foxconn, electronics workers have         documented ongoing problems. The last          had inadequate worker training on OHS;
  12-hour shifts (with two one-hour breaks),   international scandal at Foxconn erupted       48% of plants used personal protective
  frequently six days a week. Talking at       in 2006 after a local newspaper exposé of      equipment incorrectly or were without it
  work is forbidden (with fines meted out      harsh working conditions.                      altogether; and 24% of plants had never
  to violators), and recent counseling ses-         Apple conducted an audit then and         conducted an ergonomics evaluation of
  sions on site have revealed that some        found that Apple’s “code of conduct” –         the highly repetitive assembly work.
  workers are so exhausted and isolated        setting a limit of 60 hours of work per            The 2010 CSR report also indicated
  by work that they do not even know the       week and no more than six consecutive          that in Apple’s supply chain factories,
  names of their roommates in their 10-per-    days of work – was violated 34% of                               (See Asian Plants, page 6)
  son dorm rooms.
      “We are extremely tired, with tremen-
  dous pressure,” one assembly worker told
  investigators from China Labor Watch,
  “We finish one step every 7 seconds,
  which requires us to concentrate and
  keep working and working. We work
  even faster that the machines. Every shift
  we finish 4,000 Dell computers, all the
  while standing up. We can accomplish
  these assignments through collective
  effort, but many of us feel worn out.”
      Foxconn logistics worker Lu Pengguo
  told the London Financial Times “At
  work there is pressure all the time…
  On our production line we do the same
  thing every day, over and over again, day
  after day, month after month, year after
  year. It makes me feel drained.”



Volume XI, Number 2                                               •5•                                                         August 2010
  (Asian Plants, from page 5)                  ees are forced to compete for productiv-         semiconductor manufacturing facilities.”
  58% of plants worked more than 60            ity, there was no choice but to disable          Reportedly, faculty or researchers from
  hours a week at least half the time, and     the interlock safety device, which is            the Harvard University School of Public
  64% of plants worked 7 days a week at        unnecessary and slows down the work              Health will be involved in Samsung-
  least than half the time. Little progress    rate. They disabled dozens of interlocks         funded effort.
  has been made since 2006.                    on average each day, exempting only                  Meanwhile, surviving family mem-
                                               those absolutely fatal to safety,” said          bers, occupational health profession-
  Samsung                                      engineer Kim.                                    als and activists in Korea have been
  Samsung is the world’s number one pro-           The second engineer, a ten-year              keeping the spotlight on Samsung with
  ducer of flat screen televisions, the num-   Samsung veteran, told the Korean news-           public events on the anniversaries of
  ber two producer of mobile phones, and       weekly: “When I was working there,               the deaths of semiconductor workers,
  had 2009 sales revenues of $120.4 billion.   there were quite a number of organic             such as 30-year-old Hwang Min-woong
  The company is, by itself, responsible       solvent and gas leak incidents.”                 and 27-year-old Yeon Jae-wook, whose
  for 20% of all Korean exports, and has                                                        deaths occurred in July.
                                                   In July, Samsung announced it has
  as much political power as economic
                                               commissioned an “independent com-                    As part of a global “2010 Joint Action
  impact in the country.
                                               mission of occupational health experts”          Campaign for Semiconductor Workers’
      The growing controversy about            to conduct a year-long study of worker           Health and Human Rights,” the Korean
  cancer clusters among young workers at       exposures and adverse health effects             SHARPS (Supporters of Health and
  Samsung’s fabs, assembly and research        from radiation, benzene and other car-           Rights of People in the Semiconductor
  facilities has forced it to address the      cinogens at its plants.                          Industry) organization has called for
  concerns with an unprecedented public                                                         public events internationally in the
                                                   An environmental consulting firm,
  relations effort. On March 31st, 23-year-                                                     period of October 12-15th when three
                                               Environ International, will be paid by
  old Park Ji-yeon died of leukemia, which                                                      major electronics conferences will be
                                               Samsung to conduct “an objective and
  had first been diagnosed when she was                                                         held in Korea. ■
                                               transparent review of the safety of our
  21 and working at Samsung.
      The company has categorically denied
  that its workers were exposed to harmful                       Electronics Campaign Information
  chemicals. However, the transnational has      ■	   Foxconn/Apple/Dell/HP: For the latest news articles, copies of protest letters by
  admitted that 25 workers had contracted
                                                      Chinese and international academics, and global petition campaigns, please see
  cancer, with 10 deaths, since 1998.
                                                      the website of SACOM – Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior at:
     Hankyoreh 21, the Korean magazine                http://sacom.hk
  reporting on Samsung’s internal hand-          ■	   Samsung: For the latest news articles and information on the international days of
  book on carcinogens and solvents, also
                                                      solidarity in mid-October, please see the “Stop Samsung – no more deaths!” web-
  quoted two engineers at the Giheung
                                                      site at: http://stopsamsung.wordpress.com/
  semiconductor plant. “Because employ-




  US Delegation Prepares for ANROAV Conference
  Close to a dozen US activists are            American Industrial Hygiene Association,         US health and safety professionals and
  preparing to attend the annual meet-         and the International Campaign for               activists to meet and interact with their
  ing of ANROAV – Asian Network for            Responsible Technology (ICRT).                   counterparts in Asia. There are many
  the Rights of Occupational Accident              LOHP and ICRT have been asked                US-based transnational corporations
  Victims, which will be held October          to put on a two-day skills-share workshop        with operations in both the US and Asia,
  18-20th in Bangdung, Indonesia.              on health hazards in the electronics             so ANROAV provides a means to estab-
      Among the organizations par-             industry, and effective techniques for           lish communications and ongoing rela-
  ticipating will be our Network, the          evaluating these hazards and pushing             tions of mutual aid and support between
  Labor Occupational Health Program            employers to eliminate or reduce them.           Asian and US organizations.
  (LOHP) at UC Berkeley, the Hesperian             The ANROAV conference, which                     Anyone interested in more details
  Foundation in Berkeley, the Developing       brings together representatives of more          about the US delegation, please contact
  World Outreach Initiative (DWOI) of the      than 20 organizations from 14 Asian              Coordinator Garrett Brown at
  Northern California Local Section of the     countries, offers a great opportunity for        garrettdbrown@comcast.net. ■


Volume XI, Number 2                                                 •6•                                                         August 2010
  Johnson Controls Workers Win One Round, Continue Fight
  Johnson Controls ranks 58th on the              A company-controlled ‘protection                 In Mexico, the workers have received
  Fortune 500 list of global corporations     union’ linked to the Puebla State PRI            support from the Puebla-based Worker
  and reported $979 million in profits in     government has held title to the collec-         Support Centre (CAT), the Mexico
  2009, and a $297 million profit in the      tive agreement at the factory, but the           office of the AFL-CIO Solidarity
  first quarter of 2010, despite the global   workers have never received a copy of            Center, and the Project for Economic,
  economic crisis. The corporation has        that agreement nor been consulted about          Social and Cultural Rights (ProDESC).
  announced plans to open another 10          whether they wanted to be represented            Organizations mobilizing international
  manufacturing plants in China, adding       by that union.                                   solidarity included United Steel Workers
  to their 40 factories already there.            The agreement sets an important              (USW), Canadian Auto Workers (CAW),
      Johnson Controls also operates          precedent in Mexico where employers              United Auto Workers (UAW), USLEAP,
  30 plants in Mexico, including three        often sign ‘protection contracts’ with cor-      and the International Metalworkers
  in the city of Puebla. After a years-       rupt unions without the workers' knowl-          Federation (IMF), and MSN.
  long battle (see below), workers at the     edge and/or consent in order to prevent              Meanwhile, the lengthy dispute
  “Resurrection” plant won the right to be    those workers from organizing or affiliat-       continues at the company's FINSA
  represented by a union chosen and con-      ing with a democratic union.                     plant, also in Puebla, where workers are
  trolled by the workers in the plant. The        In addition to recognizing Los               attempting to rid themselves of another
  union, “Los Mineros,” is the same inde-     Mineros as the workers' union, the agree-        ‘protection union.’
  pendent union that represents workers       ment also includes the following provi-              The workers at that factory have
  at the Cananea copper mine in Sonora        sions:                                           formed a Temporary Coalition of
  where our Network conducted a health                                                         Workers in order to negotiate with the
                                              ■	   No reprisals against the workers for par-
  and safety survey in October 2007.                                                           company. To date, Johnson Controls has
                                                   ticipating in the movement;
      Workers at a sister Johnson Controls                                                     refused to recognize or negotiate with
                                              ■	   No legal action against those who par-
  plant in Puebla, the “FINSA” plant                                                           the Coalition, and has fired many of its
                                                   ticipated in the strike;
  making car seats for VW and BMW,                                                             leaders.
  however, are still fighting for a member-
                                              ■	   Payment of full wages for time lost due
                                                                                                   On April 28, two members of the
  controlled union and improved working            to the strike;
                                                                                               CAT team supporting the workers,
  conditions in the plant, where the wages    ■	   An annual profit-sharing payment of         Enrique Morales Montaño and Coral
  run between $7 and $16 a day (88 cents           US$100 per worker (20 times the $5          Juarez Melo, were visiting Johnson
  to $2 an hour) for six eight-hour days.          originally offered by the company); and     Controls employees in the community of
      The Canadian Maquila Solidarity         ■	   Direct employment and union mem-            Santo Toribio, Tlaxcala, when Enrique
  Network published this report in June on         bership for all workers currently           was physically assaulted by the 17-year-
  the victory at the Resurrection plant and        employed through a third-party employ-      old son of Magdaleno Texis, a local
  ongoing efforts at FINSA:                        ment agency.                                                     (See Johnson, page 8)

      “A three-day strike by workers at a
  Johnson Controls auto parts plant in
  Puebla, Mexico, backed by an interna-
  tional solidarity campaign, has won the
  workers the right to be represented by a
  union of their free choice.
      The Johnson Controls Interiors plant
  employs about 450 workers and produces
  seats and seat parts for major auto com-
  panies, including Ford and Mercedes-
  Benz.
      On May 29, representatives of
  the striking workers and the company
  signed an agreement that recognizes
  the workers' decision to be represented
  by the National Union of Mine and
  Metal Workers (SNTMMSSRM or Los
  Mineros).


Volume XI, Number 2                                                 •7•                                                       August 2010
  (Johnson, from page 7)
                                                   their struggle to be represented by an              have been unjustly fired for supporting
  leader of the CROM, the corrupt union            independent union. MSN is joining with              an independent union, and respect the
  that signed a ‘protection contract’ with         counterpart organizations in Mexico and             workers' right to be represented by a
  management at the FINSA factory.                 internationally in calling on the compa-            union of their free choice.”
      FINSA workers are currently touring          ny to meet with the Coalition of Johnson                For additional information see
  the United States, seeking solidarity with       Controls Workers, reinstate workers who             http://en.maquilasolidarity.org/node/942. ■




  New Resources
  ■	   Updated resource lists to July 2010 com-         Kong based Globalization Monitor                    www.sacom.hk
       piled by our Network have been posted            organization on how labor rights groups,       ■	   ‘US-owned Jabil factory in China is run
       on the website (http://mhssn.igc.org/            do, can and “should” interact with                  like a minimum security prison produc-
       resources.htm). The lists include key            transnational corporations and govern-              ing for Whirlpool, GE and HP,” is a
       articles and reports on China, Mexico,           ment agencies. The report can be found              new report from the National Labor
       corporate social responsibility and              at: www.globalmon.org.hk                            Committee in New York on miser-
       codes of conduct, global factory reports,   ■	   “Tolerating Violations in the ICTI                  able working conditions in a supplier
       global electronics industry, and global          CARE Process: Tianyu Toys Keeps                     for well-known US corporations. The
       poverty and development.                         Failing to Meet Standards,” is the                  report can be found at:
  ■	   The International Labor Rights Forum             third report from SACOM – Students                  www.nlcnet.org/reports?id=0602
       (ILRF) issued a major report – “Missed           & Scholars Against Corporate                   ■	   “Chinese university students investigate
       the Goal for Workers; The Reality of             Misbehavior on repeated violations of               life on the factory floor,” is a report
       Soccer Ball Stitchers” – at the opening          both Chinese law and corporate “codes               from the China Labour Bulletin in
       of the recent World Cup contest held             of conduct,” by this Dongguan, China,               Hong Kong about three students who
       in South Africa. Unsurprisingly, condi-          company and its international custom-               went “undercover” during their
       tions in factories making the soccer             ers. The report can be found at:                                 (See New Resources, page 9)
       balls, shoes and equipment in China,
       India, Pakistan and Thailand have not
       significantly improved. The report can                 NETWORKING NOTES
       be found at: http://www.laborrights.org/
       stop-child-forced-labor/                         ■	   In an historic victory for garment workers in Honduras, Nike Inc. has agreed to
       foulball-campaign/resources/12331                     pay $1.5 million to 2,000 workers laid off last year from Nike apparel suppli-
  ■	   Oxfam Australia is running an inter-                  ers. Workers at the Hugger and Vision Tex factories are owed over $2 million
       esting blog on its website written by                 in unpaid wages and legally required severance pay. Nike agreed to the “relief
       a 24-year-old woman footwear factory                  fund” under intense pressure from a student-led campaign that resulted in can-
       worker in Indonesia named Sewani.                     cellation of Nike licensing agreements with several US universities. More informa-
       The blog, called “In My Shoes,” can                   tion is available at: http://en.maquilasolidarity.org/node/950 and
       be found at: www.oxfam.org.au/blogs/                  http://workersrights.org/university/memo/072610.html
       index.php/category/in-my-shoes/                  ■	   Verité, a Massachusetts-based research and code compliance monitoring orga-
  ■	   “Red Dust,” is a 20-minute documen-                   nization, released in June a major report on human trafficking, forced labor and
       tary by Karin Mak on the efforts of                   slavery in global economy. The organization also launched two related initia-
       Chinese nickel-cadmium battery work-                  tives – “HELP WANTED: Hiring, Human Trafficking and Slavery in the Global
       ers to document and end debilitating                  Economy” and the “Well Made” campaign to improve conditions in global sup-
       illnesses from cadmium poisoning in                   ply chains – featuring their report and a dedicated website at:
       the production of rechargeable batter-                http://www.verite.org/WellMade/
       ies. Information can be found at:                ■	   The 12th annual European Work Hazards Network Conference will be held at
       www.reddustdocumentary.org                            the University of Leeds in the UK on September 10-12th. Participants are coming
  ■	   “Complicity, campaigns, collaboration                 from throughout Europe, with a significant group coming from the United States
       and corruption. Strategies and respons-               and Canada as well. The conference always generates numerous useful materials
       es to European corporations and lob-                  on a wide range of subjects related to workplace safety. Further information is
       byists,” is a new report from the Hong-               available at: www.ewhn.eu.



Volume XI, Number 2                                                        •8•                                                           August 2010
       Quotes of the Month
       “Last year China overtook Germany to become the world’s largest exporter, and this year it could surpass Japan as the world’s No.
       2 economy...China is stuck doing the global grunt work in factory cities while designers and engineers overseas reap the profits.
       Much of Apple’s iPhone , for example, is made in China. But if a high-end version costs $750, China is lucky to hold on to $25.
       For a pair of Nikes, it’s four pennies on the dollar.”
                — John Pomfret, “Beijing tries to push beyond ‘Made in China’ status to find brand-name innovation,” Washington
       Post, May 25, 2010.

       “Never expect something like a labour strike to happen in China? Please bear in mind that workers on this globe belong to the
       same group. When the exploited labourers are forced to toil extra time, work under huge pressure and earn disproportional tiny
       wages – often less than 1500 yuan (US$220) a month in China – the disappointment and frustration gather and grow to anger,
       and eventually revolts break out.”
           — Li Hong, “Time to defend Chinese workers rights,” columnist for the official People’s Daily newspaper in China,
       June 7, 2010.

       “There are many guilty parties,” Juanita Luna [whose four-year-old son Jonatan died in the daycare fire] said, “It’s a disgrace. A
       disgrace for Mexico.” Mexican Supreme Court justices conducted an investigation and, in March, named 19 government officials
       at all levels who they said bore responsibility [none have been arrested]…”I don’t want to lose the last thing I have left, which is
       faith that my son will have justice,” said Mayra Valle [whose three-year-old son Isaac died], “Even with all that the government
       does to us Mexicans, we still believe. I don’t want to be wrong.”
                 — Ken Ellingwood, “Year after Mexico school fire justice is elusive,” Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2010.

       [For background on this June 5, 2009, fire in Mexico see: http://thepumphandle.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/
       mexicos-daycare-fire-not-even-babies-are-protected


  (New Resources, from page 8)                          factory floor of China’s 2008 implemen-         English. The report, aimed at “compa-
       summer break to experience the life of           tation of several new labor laws. The           nies, trade unions and NGOs,” can be
       190 million migrant workers in China.            report can be found at: www.irlf.org            found at: http://www.fairtradecenter.se/
       The report can be found at: www.clb.        ■	   The European Union’s “Fair Trade                english
       org.hk/en/node/100834                            Center” in Sweden issued a report          ■	   The European Union’s workplace
  ■	   “The Impact of China’s Labor Contract            called “Strategies for strengthening            safety agency – EU-OSHA – has issued
       Law on Workers,” is a new report from            human rights in the Chinese work-               its 2009 Annual Report highlighting
       the International Labor Rights Forum             place” in December 2009 that has                the theme “spending on health and
       looking at the actual impact on the              just been translated and released in            safety is an investment, not a cost.” The
                                                                                                        report emphasizes the long-term value
                                                                                                        for enterprises of workplace safety,
       MHSSN Wins Award from AIHA Committee                                                             even in difficult economic times. It
       Our Maquiladora Health and Safety Support Network, and Coordinator Garrett
                                                                                                        can be found at: http://osha.europa.eu/
       Brown, are the 2010 winners of the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s
                                                                                                        en/press/press-releases/2009_annual_
       (AIHA) “Rachel Carson Environmental Service Award.” AIHA’s Environmental Issues
                                                                                                        report_01.15062010 ■
       Committee presented the award to Brown in May 2010 at its annual conference in
       Denver, Colorado.
       The Carson Award is given to individuals and/or organization that have “advanced
                                                                                                           Check out our website
       public awareness of environmental, safety and health issues; problems and solu-
       tions; or recognition, evaluation and control of a hazard that adversely affects the               for archived newsletters,
       community and environment,” according to the AIHA.                                                  updated resource lists,
       “This award is the highest honor bestowed upon an EHS professional or group” by                            and more.
       the committee, AIHA said in announcing the award. “It is presented to EHS profes-
       sionals who have attained outstanding success in their EHS business, profession or                  www.igc.org/mhssn
       life’s work.”



Volume XI, Number 2                                                      •9•                                                          August 2010

				
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