Local labor groups urged sportswear giant Adidas yesterday to address poor working conditions at the factories of its Taiwanese suppliers in China, amid complaints of occupational diseases and health issues, such as benzene poisoning.
The activists pressed their calls in front of Adidas’ flagship store in Taipei in a protest that was part of a movement jointly launched by labor activists in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Indonesia, the protesters said.
Their primary target was Dynamic Precision Industry Corp (鉅明), a Taiwanese supplier that produced golf clubs for Adidas at its factory in Guangzhou, China, before recently shutting down its production line.
The activists accused the company of having maintained poor working conditions at the Guangzhou plant, which they said affected about 100 workers.
Some of them went deaf, while others have experienced benzene poisoning, or developed pneumoconiosis or hand-arm vibration syndrome, the activists said.
The Guangzhou plant’s management responded to the health complaints by laying off the workers and paying them severance, the activists alleged.
Those who refused to leave their jobs were pressured into doing so when the company cut their wages and eventually halted production, they said.
The protesters also expressed their opposition to Dynamic Precision Industry’s plan to move back to Taiwan, shouting the slogan: “Bad fish swims back, victimizing workers in Taiwan.”
Workers at another Taiwanese factory in China that makes goods for Adidas also came down with benzene poisoning, and one of them died in March, the activists said.
They called on Adidas to meet its social responsibilities by improving working conditions at its contract manufacturers and opening itself to supervision by labor groups.
They demanded that Adidas properly compensate the six workers from Dynamic Precision Industry with hand-arm vibration syndrome and see to it that workers suffering from benzene poisoning receive immediate treatment.
Lin Fan-shun (林凡舜), a public relations manager at Adidas, accepted a petition presented by the labor groups, but said he was not authorized to comment on the complaints because they involved manufacturers in China.
Lin also declined to respond positively to the activists’ request for a reply to their demands within five days.
This time was supposed to be different. The memorychip sector, famous for its boom-and-bust cycles, had changed its ways. A combination of more disciplined management and new markets for its products — including 5G technology and cloud services — would ensure that companies delivered more predictable earnings. Yet, less than a year after memory companies made such pronouncements, the US$160 billion industry is suffering one of its worst routs ever. There is a glut of the chips sitting in warehouses, customers are cutting orders and product prices have plunged. “The chip industry thought that suppliers were going to have better control,” said
Enimmune Corp (安特羅生技) has obtained marketing approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its EnVAX-A71 vaccine for enterovirus 71 (EV-71), becoming the nation’s first enterovirus vaccine completely made in Taiwan, it said yesterday. After spending 13 years and NT$1.5 billion (US$49.77 million) on the research and development of the vaccine, Enimmune plans to start manufacturing and marketing it by the end of March, the company said in a statement, without disclosing customer order figures. “It is possible that the vaccine would not be included in a national vaccination program initially, and consumers would need to pay for it themselves,” parent
Vaccine skeptics blocking transfusions for life-saving surgeries, Facebook groups inciting violence against doctors and a global search for unvaccinated donors — COVID-19 misinformation has bred a so-called “pure blood” movement. The movement spins anti-vaccine narratives focused on unfounded claims that receiving blood from people inoculated against COVID-19 “contaminates” the body. Some have advocated for blood banks that draw from “pure” unvaccinated people, while medics in North America say they have fielded requests from people demanding transfusions from donors who have not received a vaccine. In closed social media groups, vaccine skeptics — who brand themselves as “pure bloods” — promote violence against doctors
Asteroid mining start-up AstroForge Inc is planning to launch its first two missions to space this year as it seeks to extract and refine metals from deep space. The first launch, scheduled for April, is to test AstroForge’s technique for refining platinum from a sample of asteroid-like material. The second, planned for October, would scout for an asteroid near Earth to mine. The missions are part of AstroForge’s goal of refining platinum-group metals from asteroids, with the aim of bringing down the cost of mining these metals. It also hopes to reduce the massive amount of carbon emissions that stem from mining