The Chinese factory workers who work at a facility which has been contracted by Apple to make touch screens for their devices have asked of the American technology giant to address their issues with the manufacturing process, which according to them leads to chemical poisoning which has afflicted a number of workers recently. A Taiwanese company named Wintek is said to own the factory in question which is situated in the Suzhou industrial park in east China. The company admitted that it had used n-hexane or hexyl hydride in its processes from May 2008 to August 2009. However, it stopped using the chemical once it was found out that it was causing illness in the workers.
The workers called the chemical an invisible killer in a letter meant for Steve Jobs, the Apple CEO. They say that the chemical had been used in place of alcohol for speeding up the manufacturing process of the touch screens as it evaporated faster than alcohol. The factory, however, moved back to alcohol after discovering the harmful effects of the chemical on its workers. This had led to the profits for both, the factory and Apple to go up by millions every month. The workers called these profits the end result of the workers sacrificing their lives and health.
Apple has been continuously criticized by many for the adverse conditions its factory workers in China suffer from. Despite showing record profits in January, the company has again come into spotlight for not doing enough to ensure the welfare of the workers of its China-based suppliers. This situation is reminiscent of last year, when the main Apple supplier from China, Foxconn, saw almost a dozen of its workers apparently commit suicide, which according to critics was a result of the harsh conditions imposed on them by the factory.