Wintek Factory Workers Protest Over Working Conditions

Workers at a Wintek factory in Taiwan that makes touch screens for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch went on strike and started a violent protest last Friday over work-related issues. Employees blocked roads at the factory, damaged cars, and threw rocks at police to protest their pay scale and potentially hazardous working conditions, according to China Daily.

The factory workers were reacting to a government investigation that found no wrong doing on the part of factory officials in the deaths of employees. Workers have been claiming that toxic chemicals in the factory led to employee deaths.

"The truth has been hidden from public view. There are people dying from long-term exposure to the toxicant used in the factory but no one is paying attention to that. There needs to be further investigation," commented a factory employee identified only as Zhu.

Employees have been complaining about the use of hexane, a chemical that can potentially cause nervous system failure in humans, to clean touch panels. According to Wintek, 47 factory workers showed symptoms of hexane exposure and were properly treated.

Along with concerns over chemical exposure, employees have been dissatisfied with other working conditions, too. "We had long been dissatisfied with the management, pay and even food provided by the company," said Zhu.

Apple has not commented on the incident.