Alerts

Workers Maimed at Ford Supplier in China

March, 03 2011 Share

 

 

DATE:      March 3, 2011

TO:           Key Contacts

FROM:     Charles Kernaghan, Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights/NLC

RE:           Workers Maimed at Ford Supplier in China 

 

Please see attached press release and link to a new Institute/NLC report"Dirty Parts, Where Lost Fingers Come Cheap: Ford in China."

In particular we are trying to help a young man who was just 21 when three fingers and several knuckles were torn off his left hand while he was operating a stamping machine making parts for export to Ford. He told us that his boss turned off the infrared safety monitoring system so he could work faster. He had to complete 3,600 Ford parts a day, one piece every 12 seconds. Management paid the young man just $7,430 in total compensation (or just $2,474 per finger) and then fired him. His left hand is inoperative and he cannot find work.

Workers at the Yuwei factory in Dongguan have never heard the word "union" and have no idea what a union is or how it could help them.

They work 14-hour shifts, seven days a week. For can do better than that. 

Please sign onto a statement we are sending to Mr. Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford. According to the workers, Ford accounts for 80 percent of total factory production at Yuwei.

We want Ford to provide compensation of at least $72,126 for the young man whose left hand was maimed while making Ford parts. And never again can the machine's infrared safety systems be shut down. The workers at the Yuwei factory must have the right to organize an independent union. All local and internationally recognized worker rights standards must be respected.

Thanks for your solidarity. 

PS: In Times Square in NYC today we are posting a giant photo of the worker's maimed left hand. It is critical that the American people see the truth for themselves.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
Thursday, March 3, 2011  9:00 a.m. EST
Contact:          Barbara Briggs
                         Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights (NLC)
                         Tel:  412-562-2406     

At Ford Sweatshop Supplier in China
Lost Fingers Come Cheap

Dateline:  New York / Pittsburgh

Today the Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights (formerly National Labor Committee) is releasing a new in-depth  report "Dirty Parts/Where Lost Fingers Come Cheap:  Ford in China."  which documents worker rights violations-including workers maimed when factory management turned off critical safety equipment-at the Yuwei Plastics and Hardware Products company in Dongguan, China.  According to workers, 80 percent of the factory's production is for Ford.  The Yuwei factory has a U.S. office and warehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Workers earn a base wage of just 80 cents an hour, working 14-hour shifts and 7 days a week.  During the peak season, workers toil 30 days a month, often drenched in their own sweat.  Prospective hires are told they must "work hard and endure hardship."

On March 13, 2009, 21-year-old Worker "A" had three fingers and several knuckles torn from his left hand when it was crushed in a stamping machine.  He was making "RT Tubes" for export to Ford.  Management deliberately instructed the worker to turn off the infrared safety monitoring system so he could work faster.  "We had to turn it off.  My boss did not let me turn it on," said Worker A.  He had to stamp out 3,600 "RT Tubes" a day, one every 12 seconds.

We are aware of at least four serious injuries-maimed hands and fingers-over the last several years.  Seriously injured workers are fired.  New workers receive no training or safety instruction before being assigned to operate dangerous machinery.

Worker A received a total payment of just $7,430 for the loss of three fingers, leaving his hand basically inoperative.  Workers Compensation for a similar accident in the U.S. would result in a $144,292 payment.

"While millions of democracy advocates are launching protests across the Middle East and North Africa, workers at the Yuwei factory have never heard of a ‘union' and have no idea what a union is or how it could help them,", said Charles Kernaghan, director of the Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights (formerly the National Labor Committee).

Kernaghan is asking Ford to pay Worker A an additional workers compensation payment of $72,126.40, which is just half of what workers compensation would be in the U.S.

"Ford," Kernaghan said, "should not be complicit in the payment of below subsistence wages and the suppression of local and internationally recognized worker rights standards."

 
LINK to REPORThttp://www.nlcnet.org/admin/reports/files/110304-Dirty-Parts.pdf 

PHOTOhttp://farm6.static.flickr.com/5260/5489919734_04050e5c2f_z.jpg