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Write letter to GP Chairman, Mr. Lo

Demands (Until March 2006)
Update (September 2007)

To Mr Victor Lo Chung Wing
Chairman and CEO
Gold Peak Industries (Holdings) Limited
8/F Gold Peak Building, 30 Kwai Wing Road
Kwai Chung, Hong Kong SAR
+ 852 2480 5912

In 2004, due to GP's long-term negligence on occupational safety, some 400 workers from at least four GP factories (three in China and one in Hong Kong) have been found to have excessive cadmium levels while today 21 workers have already been diagnosed as having cadmium poisoning. However, until today GP has not taken full responsibility.

1.The affected workers suffer from many kinds of health problems. Many have found it hard to get employment from other factories because of their excessive cadmium levels. Workers suffered from physical, spiritual and economical losses. However, the victims have not received any compensation except a small sum of 'subsidy' ranging from 3000-8000 Yuan.

Many have found it hard to get employment from other factories because of their excessive cadmium levels. Workers suffered from physical, spiritual and GP still refused to pay any compensation to the workers. Many affected workers face economic difficulty after leaving GP because they could not find a new job. Now workers demand reinstatement. In May 2007, GP only promised to reinstate those being diagnosed as having cadmium poisoning though no actual action was taken until today. However, workers with excessive cadmium levels are the most needed group to be reinstated as many are in dire situation, i.e. they are discriminated to get a job and no income, etc. In September, GP rejected the option of reinstatement.

2. On February 27, 2006 Guangdong Hospital for Treatment and Prevention of Occupational Diseases diagnosed that Xiang Zhiqing, a female ex-GP, as having cadmium poisoning. However she has not been able to get any workplace injury compensation.

Starting from March 2007, after fighting with GP for more than one year, Ms. Xiang was finally given back all the benefits a worker with cadmium poisoning should get such as delayed wages, phone card, milk and nutrition fee and in June 2007, she also received the workplace injury status. This is the result of her uncompromising strength to fight for her legal right as a patient of an occupational disease.

3. GP workers (mostly women) have been humiliated while undergoing annual check ups by being ordered to undress and take showers, under the surveillance of unidentified persons, before taking urine samples.
Through a collective (148 workers) court case with GP in September 2006, the worker representatives came up with an agreement with GP in December 06: GP should provide annual check ups for the affected workers with proper procedures in a qualified hospital. In addition, workers' meals, wages and travel expenses during the check ups will be reimbursed.

4. After the worker poisoning was exposed, GP claimed they stopped cadmium-nickel battery production. In fact, GP only sub-contracted the cadmium-nickel battery production to another factory in Hunan which reportedly has substandard health and safety measures and does not tell workers that cadmium is poisonous.
GP never responds to this point.

5. GP denied the legitimate right of the workers to petition. In September 2004, GP colluded with the mainland local government to issue a statement which threatened to prosecute the workers with criminal charges if they dared petition the central authority again.

Either GP or the Huizhou local authority never respond to this point but workers and their representatives are always being warned and threatened by the government officials during the meetings: "Though you did not bad-mouth the government, it is already a shame for the state by bringing the case abroad. This is an act against the state and you need to think twice before you do this." "No matter where you go, you have to come back to Huizhou to solve your problem. You should create trouble for yourself and the government!” (more in attachment)
6. Recently, workers in GP’s Shenzhen plant JetPower were also found with excessive cadmium levels. However, GP's offer for the affected workers was extremely unreasonable. The workers could only get some 'subsidy' if they agreed to quit the job in a very short deadline. However, from the very beginning, GP should not impose such conditionality for any compensation. Such conditionality only means to get rid of the workers.
Today only around 15 workers still keep the employment relationship with JetPower plant. Among them, 10 are working and 5 with cadmium poisoning are being hospitalized. Most of the workers got the same deal like the Huizhou PP and ABT had before, plus an extra amount of 5000 Yuan paid by the Shenzhen ACFTU. Among the five workers with cadmium poisoning, three went back to their own town to get their body check ups due to the deliberate delay of JetPower management.

Based on the points above, we demand: Fair Compensation for the Victims.

7 Sept 2007

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