Cross-Straits Labor Organizations Demand Justice Compensation for Guangzhou Workers Victimized by Taiwanese Owned Supplier to Adidas
[Correction: As Big Typhoon is appoaching Taiwan, The 12 July action is decided to postpone to 15 July ]
Dynamic Precision Ltd. is a Taiwanese company that, until March of this year, produced golf clubs at its factory in Guangzhou (Dynamic Casting Company Ltd.) a supplier for Adidas, the world renowned producer of recreational sports equipment. Due to deplorable labor conditions, neglect of labor protections, in all 110 workers contracted various occupational diseases including Pneumoconiosis,Deafness, Benzolism,and (constituting the greatest in number) Hand/Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAV).
These illnesses resulted in unavoidable and detrimental impacts on workers’ health. However, the Taiwanese owned Dynamic Precision Ltd., in an effort to save on costs associated with compensation, chose to compel workers to sever their labor relationship (i.e. give up any claims to future salary or compensation) in exchange for paying off workers with a one time ‘settlement’. Nonetheless, over a dozen workers have insisted on securing a just settlement in accordance with China’s legal statutes and procedures. Dynamic Precision management has adopted a reprehensible attitude toward these remaining workers seeking justice in accordance with Chinese law, starting with its sudden decision to close the factory and return to Taiwan, wage losses that compelled workers to have to look for work elsewhere, and consistently refusing to discuss or negotiate the matter and, in a show of utter disdain for workers’ rights, sending thugs in to rough up these workers. Dynamic Precision claims to pride itself on its ‘core corporate values’ of “Health, Harmony, Innovation, and Flexibility”. For its workers in Guangzhou, in reality this maxim was experienced as “Ruining Health, Wrecking Harmony, Blocking Innovation, and Stuck in the Past”!
This Taiwanese company closed its Guangzhou factory in March and announced its intent to return production back to Taiwan. Additionally, to date Adidas has not subjected Dynamic Precision to any kind of financial repercussions. In fact Adidas has only added its purchase orders from Dynamic Precision. This is truly irresponsible! As labor organizations, we have called on Adidas to make changes in its policies toward such suppliers across China, by establishing a fund for compensating health care expenses that workers face due to industrial diseases, prohibit any factory operations that harm workers, and implement feasible guarantees of industrial health and safety. However, Adidas has consistently refused to answer such calls, nor made needed changes. We regard this kind of behavior as unbecoming of business leaders and are profoundly disappointed.
(Video of workers in Dynamics Casting speaking out about their occupational diseases:: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DiQS1Nvuwcs)
Chinese labor NGOs have noted another case of a Adidas supplier: calls Dongguan Xingang (Stella International Holdings Limited in Hong Kong), whose parent company is Stella Footware (Taiwan), involving 3 workers who have experienced Benzyne poisoning. The situation is very grave. 1 worker died in March. Upon being poisoned, Dongguan Xingang has taken a hostile posture toward these workers and refused to cover the costs for diagnosis, lost salary due to illness, and at-home nursing care. In 2010, Adidas’ Safe Production Regulations already clearly prohibit the use of Benzene and Methylbenzene in production, as they poison workers when they breathe in these chemicals. However, Chinese workers use organic solvents that contain Benzene to clean and shine many products, causing them great physical harm and danger. An environmental audit of the shop floor where the 3 workers worked noted the detection of Benzene in the air content. Even though Adidas has prohibited use of these chemical toxins, Chinese workers at their suppliers continue to contract Benzene poisoning, ironically proving true their trademark slogan “Nothing is Impossible”! Adidas’ lax supervision of its suppliers in China is nothing short of shameless.
Besides the irresponsibility it has demonstrated in China, Adidas’ production practices in Indonesia make workers there suffer. Since July last year, 1300 Indonesian PDK (Adidas supplier) workers in Jakarta have been on strike demanding unpaid wages and better working condition, but they haven’t been able to get a penny to date. We do not accept that a leading brand like Adidas keeps silent about obligations to workers at their suppliers around the world!
On July 15th, at 10:30 a.m., Globalization Monitor (HK) will conduct a protest across the Taiwan Strait (Hong Kong, Taipei, Guangzhou, Jakarta) in coordination with Taiwanese labor organizations and Mainland Chinese workers victimized by Taiwanese owned Dynamic Precision Ltd. Indonesia PDK workers organized by GSBI will also demonstrate in Jakarta on 12 July in support of Chinese workers victimized by Taiwanese suppliers to Adidas. We will go to Adidas offices and outlets, putting forth the following demands:
1) Immediately give the 3 women workers employed by Dynamic Casting who are suffering from Benzene poisoning needed hospital treatment for associated occupational diseases.
2) Fairly and justly resolve the compensation claims made by the remaining 6 cases of workers employed by Dynamic Casting who are suffering from HAVS.
3) Dynamic Precision Ltd. guarantee it will reform work conditions and labor practices in its factories, accept monitoring by Taiwanese labor NGOs, and ensure that it will absolutely not subject Taiwanese workers to the disastrous conditions it imposed on workers in Guangzhou.
4) Fairly and justly address the health care needs and compensation for 3 workers suffering from Benzene Poisoning at the Taiwanese owned Dongguan Xingang Shoe Factory (Stella International Holdings Limited).
5) Adidas establish an industrial disease compensation fund and guarantees the workplace safety of Chinese workers at its supplier factories in China.
6) Adidas carry out an industry wide production practices reform and agree to inspections by labor NGOs.
WE DEMAND ADIDAS ACT RESPONSIBLY!! AND WE SAY “NO!” TO DYNAMIC PRECISION BRINGING ITS DIRTY PRACTICES BACK TO TAIWAN!
Dynamic Precision has acted like a reproachable company, abandoning Guangzhou’s workers and returned to Taiwan. It’s entirely possible it will bring back the same reprehensible attitude it displayed in China toward its workers in Taiwan. We expect that Adidas will take seriously its commitment to corporate social responsibility, monitor carefully the treatment of all who work for Dynamic Precision across the Taiwan Straits, and immediately address the needs of workers who have suffered from occupational illnesses due to Dynamic Precisions’ production practices.
- Globalization Monitor (HK)
- Labor Education and Service Network, LESN (HK)
- National Federation of Independent Trade Unions (TW)
- Taiwan Association for Victims of Occupational Injuries/TAVOI (TW)
- Youth Labor Union 95 (TW)
- Union of Excluded Immigrants and Unwanted Citizens/UNIC (TW)
- Concern Alliance for Filipino Workers/CAFC (TW)
- Labour Action China (HK)
- Serve the People Association, Taoyuan/SPA (TW)
- Gabungan Serikat Buruh Indonesia (Indonesian: Federation of Independent Trade Union)
- INKOTA-netzwerk (Germany)
- Sedane Labour Resource Center “Lembaga informasi Perburuhan Sedane” (indonesia))
- Local Initiative for OSH Network (Indonesia))
- Asia Monitor Resource Centre (HK)
- Taiwan International Workers' Association /TIWA (TW)
- National Alliance of Victimized Workers of Plants Closure in Taiwan (TW)
- Taipei City Confederation of Trade Unions/TCCTU (TW)
- Taiwan Labor Front (TW)
- Humanities Club, NTNU (TW)
- Hong Kong Federation of Trade Union (HK)
Worker Empowerment (HK)
Clean Clothes Campaign Austria
Student and scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (HK)
Taiwan Higher Education Union/THE Union
German CCC-Platform (Germany)
Trade Union of Electrical, Electronic and Information in Taiwan/TUEEIT (TW)
Seeds Club, NCCU (TW)
LIPS (Sedane Labour Resource Centre/Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Sedane) Indonesia
Asian Transnational Corporations (ATNC) monitoring network
National Free Trade Union - Sri Lanka
Retail, Commerce and Clothing Industries General Union
Asia Floor Wage Alliance
TURC (Trade Union Rights Centre) Indonesia
Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research, Inc. (EILER)
marginalise peoples network( JERIT)
Black Ditch Club, FJU
Taoyuan County Confederation of Trade Unions (TCCTU)
Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) Camodia
Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) Cambodia
Cambodian Alliance of Trade Union (CATU)
Taiwan Labour Front
Neighbourhood and Worker's Service Centre (HK)
(Latest update at 16:42 on 14/7)
Please submit your petition through this link until 13July.
Yuede Lin, 林岳德
Taiwan Association for Victims of Occupational Injuries/TAVOI
Vera Chen, 陳曉雯
Taiwan Youth Labor Union 95
In Hong Kong:
+852 6581 7426