Friday, August 27, 2010


Last March Molly mentioned a solidarity campaign for workers at Gold Peak Battery in Huizhou China. Since then things have gone from bad to worse, and the latest incident involves the company hiring violent thugs to attack the workers. This is merely one incident out of many as workers in China are increasingly unwilling to accept poorly paid and dangerous sweat shop conditions. Here's the story in the form of a letter from the Good Electronics network.
Violence used against protesting Gold Peak Battery workers in Huizhou, China‏
Dear Reader,

Earlier this year, you showed your support for the struggle of cadmium affected Gold Peak workers in China. Hundreds of protest letters were sent to Gold Peak. In response, the company sent a lame and noncommittal message, telling us to refrain from contacting GP’s customers as “facts show that GP is a responsible employer and our staff and workers are happy to stay with”. Globalization Monitor has continued working on this case. Today, I feel compelled to inform you about the most recent developments.

Since 16 August, ex-workers of Gold Peak Batteries who are suffering from excessive levels of cadmium are once again trying to engage the company into negotiations about compensation for their health problems. So far, GP has ignored the workers’ demands. On 24 August, over a hundred workers staged a protest outside Gold Peak's factory in Huizhou. Some hours into the demonstration, the protesting workers representatives were surrounded and beaten up by a large group of thugs. A number of workers were badly injured and needed hospitalisation. Shockingly, the thugs told that they were paid 50 dollars to beat up protesting workers. Reportedly, two GP security guards assisted in bringing in the thugs. Workers concerned point a finger at GP for staging this violent incident which is strongly condemned by civil society organisations in Hong Kong and elsewhere. Gold Peak however refuses to pay for the medical expenses. The workers raised fund among themselves in order to pay for the hospital bills.

In an open letter dated 25 August 2010, 200 workers express their shock and anger.

More information can be fund on the websites of the Hong Kong based labour rights group Globalization Monitor and GoodElectronics.
Pauline Overeem
Network Coordinator
International Network on Human Rights & Sustainability in Electronics

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