Report from the Global Strategy Meeting on Sustainable Electronics Industry

Report from the Global Strategy Meeting on Sustainable Electronics Industry

Suwon, South Korea  – June 18 – 20, 2012

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From June 17 to June 20, 2012, more than 50 people from 15 countries met in Suwon, South Korea to discuss ways to address the many challenges we face as environmental and occupational health and labor activists working to address the negative impacts of the rapid growth of the electronics industry.  Sponsoring organizations included Asia Monitor Resource CenterCitizen of the Earth (Taiwan)Good ElectronicsInternational Campaign for Responsible Technology; and Supporters for Health and Rights of People in Semiconductor Industry (SHARPS). Participants gave presentations, small groups developed recommendations in key areas (campaigns, research and communications), and there was also a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the formation of the International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT) as well as a press conference and demonstration at the Samsung Headquarters in Seoul and a candlelight vigil at the Suwon train station.


The meeting was held to address the following issues:


The need for more coordination, joint strategy development, and capacity building to plan for the next decade, such as:


1. The need to develop more research for better insights on the current structure and dynamics of the global electronics industry


2. The need to share our various agendas, experiences, and local struggles


3. The need for more coordinated local, regional and international campaigns  


Participants were united by the opportunities to build a more effective movement to transform the electronics industry into a more sustainable, greener, more just industry:


  • Public awareness of the environmental and occupational health and workers’ rights abuses are much higher than ever before
  • Growing participation of diverse groups around the world brings great potential to coordinate and build a more powerful movement to bring significant changes throughout the lifecycle of the industry
  • The emergence of significant new grass roots, labor, and research initiatives have helped to increase awareness and activate more people throughout the world to work to transform the industry.
  • The opportunities for capacity building and resource sharing between groups are growing rapidly. They also were aware of the many considerable challenges that need to be addressed in a systematic way more than ever:
  • There is significant need to better coordinate all of the different groups and initiatives to exchange information and experiences, create synergies, minimize duplication, fill in the gaps, maximize the overall impact, and to identify common strategies and campaigns.  We need to develop a long-range plan to consolidate our resources and to do joint campaign planning.
  • While the industry has consolidated its global coordination through EICC and GESI, the NGOs and labor groups are still dispersed and uncoordinated.
  • The industry continues to grow in global dominance and economic power while the resources available to the grass roots groups remain small.   We clearly need to develop new significant resources in order to be successful.



How to read this report: 

This report includes the background for the meeting (page 1); the Action Plan developed at the meeting (page 2); the Summary of the minutes of the meeting, including links to all of the presentations and summaries of the breakout groups;  a list and photos of the participants.





The Action Plan from the ICRT Korean Meeting

Goals, specific outcomes, responsibilities and time lines for Research, Campaigns and Communications

Discussion group

What needs to be done?



People/ Organizations


Research Consolidate existing research To have the best and most wanted/valued electronics industry hazards library in the world


Pool existing research – develop a research tree by September 2012 ICRT





3 months: draft research tree
Develop categories and online library with links to other organizations 6 months: draft ready to start the process as website or something else

1 year: have it working


Mapping the supply chain

Map the electronics industry supply chains in Asia, starting with Apple and Samsung Include location, workers and hazards – develop framework by September 2012; launch in 2013 AMRC







3 months: framework

8 – 10 months: draft research report

Describe law enforcement and legal framework for poisoning and compensation Expose the inadequacies/rights within the existing system. Develop framework and workplan by September 2012 Includes case studies to lobby the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) (collect cases of chemical poisoning in electronics industry) AMRC





3 months: Work plan and framework
Research (cont’d) Describe law enforcement and legal framework for poisoning and compensation (cont’d) A comparative analysis Publication: cases of chemical poisoning in Asian electronics Industry – framework and work plan by 9/12 AMRC



3 months: Work plan and framework
  Include toxics management (and institutional support for it)  
Research shareholding patterns Target shareholders in major electronics companies Need to engage shareholder groups by October 2012 APG

As you Sow



(need to contact)

Focus on Apple and Samsung as key components of research activities Feed into the campaigns    
Research take-back issues Feed into the campaigns    
Campaigns Focus on Apple and Samsung  Support existing campaigns that focus on Samsung and Apple   ANROEV





Work towards sustainable electronics Sustainable electronics throughout the lifecycle Campaign at American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting in San Francisco ICRT, Hesperian, Worksafe, and others Meeting: October 26 – 31, 2012
Campaigns (cont’d) Work towards sustainable electronics (cont’d) Sustainable electronics (cont’d) Presentation at US COSH  Worker Health and Safety Policy Summit  (October in San Francisco) ICRT and others Summit: October 27, 2012
1-day meeting with activists in SF Bay area (USA) 10/26/12 ICRT, ETBC, Hesperian, Worksafe, and others October, 2012
Global Day of Action and Memorial Week Support Samsung and Apple campaigns Actions on March 6, 2013, with follow up Co-ordination:








March 6, 2013
Actions at various electronic expos Support Samsung and Apple campaigns Activities at Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong exhibitions/expos Various dates October 13 – 16, 2012: Hong Kong

October, 2012: Korea

June, 2013: Taiwan

SAICM meeting in Kenya to approve final language Support strong recommendations to support OSH & EHS The ICCM3 meeting will make the final decision – we need to be there to influence it ICRT, IPEN and allies will attend meetings during week of 9/17
Communi-cations Goal:   develop better tools to support campaigns to help strengthen the movement – enhance our capability to communicate with others (some will be public, some will be internal); need to develop more effective action alerts;


•need for communications steering committee
–Millie (CET); Sally (AMRC); Juliana So; Edwin from FSMPI in Indonesia; Dr Kong from SHARPS; Ted (ICRT); ETBC
•Need one person who can take responsibility for newsletter
•include contact person for each country
•need someone to administer all of the communications (and it takes time)


Need to use multiple platforms depending on communication needs   instant messaging; web sites; email; publications; Skype conference calls; Facebook; twitter; Plurk; Microblog; list serve; regular news bulletins/ newsletters; videos with subtitles; YouTube; Flicka; blogs;


New ICRT and ANROEV list serves already functioning; New ICRT web site will be up by end of July; Millie will set up Facebook page by end of July; need to coordinate with other groups’ existing web sites
















Outreach Strategy for Communications   use various tools to do outreach to public particularly about the hazards – need for multiplier effect to reach out to media, – need to work with communications specialists – we should research communication experts in unions and NGOs to help share their expertise – Greenpeace, CWA, UAW, IMF, raise resources to do a communications plan;
Platform(s) – Wiki?   web site needs to be set up so that people can contribute easily with adequate security and management oversight -UC Berkeley set up a project but follow up and follow through is a challenge – or we could upload documents to a new  dropbox and then summarize them for the web site


Overcoming language barriers   one of the most important barriers – Korean, Chinese, etc; we need to develop a pool of translators similar to doctors, lawyers, etc – mostly volunteer but sometimes paid if urgent; which of our communications need to be translated?


Additional challenges that need to be addressed  
Develop more effective way of reaching workers;
•providing a platform for worker-friendly professionals
•needs to be concise, well organized, and easily accessed and understood
•challenges for why we don’t communicate better?  We need to develop shared ownership!



Minutes – Summary


Day 1 – June 18, 2012


Self-Introductions of all participants present (see link for photo ID)



Presentation – Ted Smith, ICRT, USA


Key points:                 


–  Hazards/workers safety have been well known for over 30 years


–  Right to know has been an important tool for activists in the US beginning in the 1970s & 1980s


–   Strategies that we’ve used: Organizing, documentation, publications


–   Using Toxic Release Inventory or TRI to demonstrate the Silicon Valley’s High Tech pollution



Ted presented the article on this topic that he wrote


–  Use of mapping to demonstrate demographic information that highlight the toxic and industrial hazards particularly in poor communities and communities of color


–   Epidemiological study of IBM workers with high cancer rates (Richard Clapp)


–   Discussion of disparities between occupational health Standards/ environmental standards


–  Moore’s Law (Chip will be faster and cheaper… new hazards are arriving before we learn the existing ones) – need to develop Moore’s law for OHS & EHS


Parallel and proportional improvement in environmental health and safety.


–    The transformation of the Electronics Supply Chain has outsourced responsibility as well as jobs


–    We need to unite people working in health, environment, and labor in an industry sector strategy


–   We need more people’s stories to make our struggles more visible – put a human face on suffering


–  We are developing a new vision for sustainable technology within Electronics TakeBack Coalition


(Click here for part 1 of this presentation)


(Click here for part 2 of this presentation)


(Click here for part 3 of this presentation)






Presentation – Dr Kong – SHARPS, Korea


–  Presents latest data on illnesses and deaths of Samsung workers


–  Samsung’s response to our campaign: in 2010 the company opened a health institute


–  On Dec 2010 we organized a declaration of 536 leaders in various civil societies.


–  Our goal is to make the victims’ faces and lives visible to the public


–  Turning point: KOSA’s Industrial Hygiene study announced (Carcinogen were found as by-products in normal operations) in 2012


–  Victims: 155 are sick and 61 deaths have been documented at Samsung


–  Lessons (Listen Carefully, show their real faces, and organize the heart of people


–  Challenges (to achieve worker’s compensation takes a long time)


–  To contact Samsung workers is very difficult


–  To build international solidarity is important and necessary – Samsung is a global company and a successful campaign requires a global effort and strategy




(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)




Presentation – Miriam Lara (Hesperian Health Guides, USA)


–  Occupational Health Promoters in electronics factories—how do people know about chemicals in the electronics factory? Who know best? (workers in the center –  Everybody can be an expert)


–  Health issues: Everybody is an expert—we need actionable information


–  Start from people’s experience (Essential to know, useful to know, nice to know)


–  Information—education, human drawings


–  Activities


–  Stories—validate people’s experience (crossing the barriers of geography)


–  Challenge the ideas “only professionals and outsiders know.”




(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)






Presentation – Dorothy Wigmore – Worksafe – USA




–  SCCOSH grew out of two projects: PHASE and ECOSH


–  Campaign to ban trichloroethylene (TCE) in “clean rooms”


–  Helping workers centers and unions use their legal health and safety rights and resources.


–  Mix the policy and legal advocacy with workers’ experiences


–  Green chemistry—is the chemical/product necessary for this task? OSH must be about prevention, Better recipes, Not having to say you are sorry


–  Cradle to Cradle is a new strategy – life cycle approach to chemicals from mining through disposal


–  The 2012 Toxics nominees (great ideas)


–  SVTC used mapping effectively and OSH groups use risk mapping to focus on “Where does it hurt?”)


–  Analyzing work hazards must include people and their social relations, make them visible


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)


Presentation – Millie Lee (CET, Taiwan)



Taiwan’s cases:

Case 1: Siaoli River (AUO and CPT discharged wastewater into river for 11 years)

Toxics: indium, gallium, and molybdenum, PFOS, PFOA

Siaoli River supplies drinking water to residents

Case 2: CTSP III

–  EPA ignored the verdict that upheld the citizen’s complaint that the new development violated the EIA law, claiming it is “ineffective, meaningless and a destroyer to the EIA mechanism”

–  Government is helping companies to get around the laws rather than enforce the laws

–  Key components’ global supply chains are based in Taiwan (CPU- Memory…)

–  CET is applying ChemSec’s SIN list 2.0 analyses in Taiwan

–  Also, CA, USA is going to release a list with 1500 hazardous chemicals in October


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)



Presentation – Chu Wei-Li (National Federation of Independent Trade Unions) – Taiwan

–  Many brand name companies receive sell orders, but manufacture overseas

–  Foxconn hires 20,000 people in Taiwan, 2 million in China

–  Wintek has 3550 workers in Taiwan, in contrast to 20,000 in China

–  These companies get subsidies in Taiwan but create problems elsewhere

–  Taiwanese government should learn from Korean experience


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)



Presentation by

Yeuh –Te Lin RCA case in Taiwan and TAVOI

(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)



Presentation – Tono Haruhi – Yokohama Action Research, Japan


– Japanese electronics companies have declined in international status since the 1990s.

– There have been massive dismissals by major electronics companies

– Panasonic, SONY, SHARP have had negative net revenue, large scale layoffs

– Samsung depends on a vertical integration model

– Business tie-ups planned among Japanese and other Taiwanese companies

–  HonHai purchased 10% of Sharp stocks on March 27, 2012 and took 46.5 of stocks of LCP Company in Sakai City

– Vertical integration model, Hon Hai is planning to develop a vertical integration model in a tie-up with Sharp


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)



Presentation – Pikki Fung, Labour Education and Service Network (LESN), Hong Kong


– TNCs have been expanding their profit making activities, including Foxconn in Wuhan province with huge support from the government.

– Numerous local residents driven away from homes without proper compensation, destroying their way of life

–  Workers are exploited, have been experiencing a long working hours and isolated. They get injuries, occupational hazards, radiation, and work injuries.

–  Need for Information and international network to build more capacity and support


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)



Presentation – May Wong, Globalization Monitor (GM), Hong Kong


–   GM has worked in China since 2004

–   Supports Battery Workers  (2004 – today)

–   Worked on environment – China Water Reform Project Research:

–   IDH electronics program to improve the lives and conditions of 500,000 workers and their families at suppliers in China

–   100 suppliers of Dell, HP and Philips will be invited to do training

–   GM and IHLO were invited to be on the Steering Committee of IDH

–   Local NGOs such as CLSN, LESN are invited to be trainers in factories.


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)



Presentation – Pachnee (Lek)  Kumnak – Thai Labor Campaign, Thailand


Thailand (Labor issues from the 2011 flood crisis to the raising of the minimum wage in 2012)


–   The freedom of association, rally, expression, speech with different views is threatened by the draconian laws: lese majeste law and computer crime.

–   The Thai Law on censorship is a real problem

–    Flood impacts on the workers: 1,000 deaths, 107,000 patients, 50,000 dismissed from 117 enterprises, over 10 unions busted

–   Number of people in the Thai workforce in electronic industry is about 500,000

–   Like in other sector, the flexible employment is common practice in electronic industry

–   There are 25 million dispatched workers which cannot be protected by social security fund.

–   And there are about 13 million regular workers.


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)



Presentation – Edwin Christiawan, FSPMI, Indonesia

Overview of Electronics Industry in Batam Island, Indonesia

–   Working or occupational accidents: 100 thousand victims every year

–   There are three biggest areas in Batam in the Muka Kuning area, which are used as industrial zones, comprising 200 foreign companies

–   FSPMI (Indonesian Metalworkers union) members are in 30 electronics and electrical companies, most of them are Japanese owned

–   3 Major issues: 1. wage and welfare 2. Outsourcing/contingent workers. 3 Occupational Health and Safety

–   Straight production line/cell line caused non-stop production, chemical evaporation, physical impact (stress and fatigue), and non-ergonomic conditions.

–   Government only tackles mechanical and physical injuries. Chemical and industrial hazards has not been tackled yet although it is getting worse



–   Companies do not allow any investigations inside the factories regarding industrial hazards

–   Victims are still ashamed to disclose any case of occupational diseases

–   Union does not know what to do or how to deal with these conditions and need support

–   Workers turnover is quite high and job rights are insecure

–   Yet we have been fighting for our rights, by carrying out workers training, workshops, and comparative tours to other factories.

–   We have made achievements by advocating policies in national legislation that occupational diseases will be covered in social insurance.

–   However, we realized that actually victims are sick or died due to corporate practices, yet those are not covered or compensated by the government. Company takes the profits, the people get the risks.


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)


Presentation – Mageswari Sangaraling, CAP, Malaysia



–   Consumer Association of Penang; CAP objectives are to achieve socially just society, environmentally sound.

–    Activities include: Research education and campaign

–   Electronics and electrical equipment are major exports from Malaysia

–   Electronics began in 1972 in Penang Island by establishing FTZ. Tax free polices, and later expanded to other states in Malaysia

–   Mainly assembly and testing of semiconductor devises memory chips

–   Major brand Companies: Intel, Dell, Western Digital, Texas Instruments, Seagate, etc….

–   Companies; 88% global, Domestic 12 %

–   Protest of Lynas Rare Earth, major struggle in Kuantan – 12 years free tax, people exposed and contaminated – Australian mining company wants to refine the metals in Malaysia, but there have been major protests to stop it


Environmental and OSH concern

–   Occupation exposure to hazardous chemicals

–   Exposure to physical hazards

–   Ergonomics at workplace

–   Long working hours

–   Lack of information

–   Land use conversion without proper compensation

–   Environmental pollution


Migrant workers

–   20 to 60 percent migrant employees working in electronics

–   Vulnerable to abuse

–   Outsourcing


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)



Presentation: by Yen Yen, Introducing EIEU (Electronic Industry Employees Union), Western Region, Malaysia


–    EIEU is the first regional Trade Union in the electronics industry, registered in Dec 2009

–   A result of 4 decades fight



–   Organizing blue collar workers

–   Collective bargaining

–   Ensure companies comply with OSH protections



–   Massive influx of migrant workers from neighboring countries (Indonesia, Bangladesh, etc.)

–   Denial of rights by companies as part of electronics industry strategy

–   Collective bargaining: secret ballot formula (simple majority 50% + 1).


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)



Presentation – Arnel Salvador (CAW) and Roy (NXP) – Philippines

–   Cavite is the most favorite destination for electronics industry investment

–   45 industrial estates, more than 2.9 million workers

–   Cavite Economic Zone

–   Non-unionized industry

–   The Philippine electronics industry remains the major contributor to the economy, accounting for 61.18% of total exports for 2010.

–   The industry posted a 41% increase in exports from US$22.182 billion in 2009 to US$31.079 billion in 2010.

–   In 2010, investments in the industry registered its highest value at US$2.27 Billion


Working condition

–   Low wages

–   Problem: lack of freedom of association

–   If you have no union, you are not allowed to have one, if you have one, you are not allowed to strike.

–   Many workers still believe it is a safe working environment

–   Many companies still use banned and hazardous chemicals such as perchloroethylene,  trichloroethylene (TCE) , toluene, methanol, IPR, flux, lead, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, etc

–   Workers have to take overtime to earn more wages to survive

–   Overtime is often not paid


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation of Arnel)

(Click here for more info and for the full presentation of Roy)



Presentation – Viet Anh, Center for Development and Integration – Vietnam

–   Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is growing steadily in Vietnam

–   Companies have developed a new “China plus one strategy” – decreasing dependency on China and moving into others countries such as Vietnam

–   Samsung Vietnam – the largest in the world assembling Samsung mobile phones

–   80 per cent are female workers

–   90 per cent are migrant workers

–   Average age: 18-25 year old

–   No unions, until 2011.

–   Challenge; turnover is high, migrant workers are difficult to organize



–   No information about the hazards in the electronics industry

–   Electronics is new in Vietnam

–   There is no independent union

–   Is it possible for migrant workers to stay as permanent citizen in current village where they live? Yes, but still it is not accepted like other local citizens.

–   We need more detailed information about Samsung in Vietnam


(Click here for more info and for the full presentation)




Two other presentations were included in the materials but the presenters were not able to be there:


1.“The vision for sustainable electronics products” from Electronics TakeBack Coalition in the USA and

2.“IPE presentation for ICRT meeting” from Institute for Policy and Environment (IPE) in China.



Day 2 – June 19, 2012

Overview/Synthesis by Sanjiv, AMRC]


–  Industry has undergone a paradigm shift in the past two decades. In the beginning companies would manufacture everything from chip to software under one roof (Vertical integration)

–  With the development of chip companies like the Intel and  AMD and development of PC companies like Hewlett Packard, Apple and Microsoft, companies specialized in certain part or process ( Chip or software) – horizontal computer industry (Windows + Intel = Wintelism)

–   During the 1990s a new type of sub-assembly firm emerged, called contract manufacturers (CM). These companies tend to be very large and global in scope and provide integrated manufacturing services for brand-name companies.

–   One stop shop: CM companies provide all elements of manufacturing as well as components purchasing, distribution logistics, and repair services.

–   Contract manufacturers have become important players in the production chain, currently accounting for more than 20 percent of global value added in IT manufacturing

–   Low end sub-contracted shifted to low wage areas. China has the largest concentration of such units

–   Asia contributes to about 50% of the global electronics production.

–   Electronics manufacturing constitutes a major industrial manufacturing in Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China.

–   For Philippines and Malaysia it constitutes 50-70% of the exports.

–   Electronics (including software) constitute about 20-30% of total exports in Thailand and India

–   The Chinese electronics industry is largest in Asia (overtook Japan in 2004) roughly three times the size of SE Asia.

–   The mobile devices (phones, tablets) are the latest huge growth area, financially and technologically


Key labor issues:


–   Complex subcontracting chain and good portion of assembly and manufacturing is carried out in informal sector employing many workers without protection (migrants, contingent workers, no job security, etc.)

–   Informal labor practices are also practiced widely within the formal units – contractual labour, dispatch workers.

–   Whole industry is anti-union and all kinds of repressive measures are used to curb any kind of organising


Issues to be discussed in five working groups


  1. 1.Workplace Hazards – how to identify and deal with it?
  2. 2.Diagnosis, Compensation and organizing the victims
  3. 3.How to organize workers including the precarious workers- contract, migrants and dispatch
  4. 4.How to map the complex supply chain
  5. 5.How to develop collaboration between different groups – labor, OSH, environmental, Consumer etc.


Full group breaks out into Small Group discussions on the 5 topic areas —



Plenary: Group presentation Summaries (reports back from groups)

Group 1: Hazards — finding, dealing with them

Solutions within workplaces, or working with workplaces


  • Get information from key workers about chemicals used (from labels — take pictures on cell phones, copy information), what is done where, etc.
  • Do body and workplace maps with workers and the information from them
  • Try to find people like engineers and maintenance workers for information
  • Raise workers consciousness with the mapping, sending people to supportive doctors for diagnosis of ailments, etc., training
  • Ask OHS specialists for information about chemicals (and other hazards) and their effects
  • Bring information back to workers, ask if they want to file claims, get involved
  • Set up OHS monitoring group that can lead to union organizing




Within workplaces, or working with workplaces

  • Organize workers to find hazards and learn about their effects
  • Get local OHS specialists to share information
  • Try to get information from the company
  • Workplace and body mapping to get information


Outside workplaces, within network:

  • Get information about chemicals and other hazards by production task
  • Collect information about solutions to prevent or reduce the hazards (e.g.,“green chemistry” methods, substitutions, work methods)
  • Share results of hazards and solutions research within network and widely
  • Get OHS specialists to collect information from journals, etc. to add to workplace-based information and communicate it widely in various languages


Pressure governments to:

  • Get companies to list chemicals used
  • Deal with “trade secrets”
  • Adopt REACH and GHS (European version)


We also need to:

  • Connect with SAICM (the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management) and use those international resources – final adoption will be at ICCM3 meeting in Kenya in September 2012
  • Connect with and contribute to SubsPORT, whose goal is “to develop an internet portal that constitutes a state-of-the-art resource on safer alternatives to the use of hazardous chemicals”


Group 2: Diagnoses and compensation


We need:

  1. 1.To reverse/reduce the Burden of Proof (currently on victims; should be on companies)
  2. 2.Better Legal System for Compensation of industrial illnesses
  3. 3.To get the government & Companies to follow/implement the law
  4. 4.To identify More Victims and make their struggles visible
  5. 5.Organize more support for the Victims



What can be done:

  1. 1.To reverse/reduce the Burden of Proof
  • Data on work environment to demonstrate hazards
  • Break <trade secrets> when used as a shield against Right to Know


2.  Better Legal System for Compensation with

  • Comprehensive list of occupational diseases (e.g. ILO list)
  • Shorter, easier, more efficient, independent processes
  • We need to collect and disseminate good examples


3. To let the Government & Companies follow/implement the law

  • Increase pressure on them, especially via the victims’ struggles


4. To Find out More Victims

  • Continue to build attention of media to raise awareness (especially the high rate of turnover, many precarious workers)
  • Work more closely with worker-friendly professionals


5. Support for the Organized Victims

  • Help to provide Hope & Feeling of not being isolated
  • Help to provide Medical treatment & Legal and Financial support


What can we each contribute:

  1. 1.Korea
  • The name of Samsung is important for us to get more attention on OSH
  • Worker-friendly professionals (doctors, lawyers, industrial hygienists)
  • The new Court decision that ruled in favor of workers for the first time
  1. oInformation on conditions in the workplace itself
  2. oExperience of Campaign against the trade secrets
  3. oHow to use the workers’ experience as evidence in legal cases
  4. oEducation for trade unions
  5. oGood example of seriousness and persistence on the issue
  6. oComparative study on different compensation systems
  7. oCase research and report
  8. 2.Philippines
  9. 3.Taiwan
  10. 4.Hong Kong


Group 3: Improve Organizing workers in electronics industry



  • Methods of organizing workers especially precarious workers for unions and NGOs.
  • How to improve bargaining strength?
  • How to build International and regional solidarity?


Precarious workers- developing new organizing strategies and models

  • Trade unions are challenged in organizing, representing dispatch workers, unions are losing members(Indonesia)
  • Trade unions CAN organize precarious workers(Thailand)
  • Change union constitution to cover dispatch workers- providing services, recruiting dispatch and migrant workers.
  • By endorsement, union can negotiate CBA on behalf of migrant and dispatch workers separately.
  • There are enterprise-based CBAs with multinational electronics company eg Hoya
  • Organizing Samsung is hard, they are skilled at union busting
  • Organizing electronics workers, building labor militancy outside of unions
  • China, Vietnam experience
  • Electronics TNCs collaborate with official unions from top down, not genuine unions.
  • NGOs organize workers in the community on various issues covering all forms of employment – have methods but not in official union or bargaining.
  • Forming Industrial Unions
  • Taiwan experience –
  • Wintek union organizes mainly dispatch workers, provide services without representing them in CB. Dispatch workers join the union after they become regular workers
  • Trade union law changed in Taiwan, to allow industrial unions to form. NAFITU is forming an NGO and set up a fund to liaise, recruit dispatch workers, for setting up an industrial union.

–    National struggle for revising trade union law

–   Forming industrial union also cannot overcome MNC’s busting


Examples of international solidarity

  • Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU)
  • Hyundai auto workers’ solidarity network- Korea, China, Slovakia, India, US
  • Thailand
  • International campaign on Ford on dismissal of 4 union members. Solidarity from UAW to pressure Ford Thailand for reinstatement.



  • Knowledge about methods of organizing to overcome precarious work, sharing of experiences across traditional divides
  • Solidarity network on the electronics industry to support struggle cases

–    NAFITU for Taiwanese companies

–    SHARPS and KMWU for Korean companies, Samsung

–    Collaboration between IMF affiliates throughout Asia


  • Bilateral -we need better regional/international mechanisms

–    Alert to cases, call for actions

–     Sharing organizing experiences to develop common strategies

–    Need to develop better materials for raising workers’ consciousness on broader issues


Group 4: Mapping the supply chain


Major problems:

–    Mostly undisclosed information

–    Moving and changing  very fast

–    Very different production from one plant to another, one country to another

–    Local and global


Possible sources:


First hand data:

–    Workers /NGOs

–    Build a more effective Research Network – Han Lin will help organize a research team


Other data:

–    Open information (HP /Dell/ APPLE)

–    Products (iPhone, Galaxy)

–    Reach out to students (management, geography, etc)

–    Market news

–    Financial reports


Why is it important to map the supply chain:

–    To know where the production has moved and which production is where

–    Collecting information on different countries to show it is a world-wide problem and not only China

–    If we have more knowledge of the complete supply chain, we understand better how the industry is structured – so we know more about capital movement and causal relationship issues.

–    It helps organizing

–    It helps identifying hazards

–    Find different tiers and maybe home-based workers


What we should do:

–    Begin through two biggest brands and products :Apple iPhone 4S / Samsung Galaxy

–    Once you identify the major components, we can look where they are produced

–    Create a database – link with Research project coordinated by Fahmi

–    We decide what are the key elements we have in database that can be updated

–    Create a working group with tasks.


Inside iPhone 4 (ref:

–    178 components from 6 countries: Taiwan, Japan, US (TEXAS Inst), Italy (STMicroElectronic), Korea (Samsung), China (Foxconn)

–    Only for a camera: 17 components



Looking at Samsung website we will find a map showing all the plants worldwide. If everybody gathers the information to know the conditions and problems of workers, that would help.


Group 5: Campaigns


Campaign Themes

  • Ongoing campaigns to be supported such as Korea’s Compensation for Victims;
  • Target certain Brands/Products – Samsung, Apple (consumer campaigns and target at production level)
  • If Health and safety issues of workers are more visible, companies may have a more difficult time attracting consumers.
  • Starting point – show consumers victims/people suffering to produce the phone or brand so that consumers can feel their pain


Campaign demands:

  • Criminal Liability – preventive measure to deter future crimes, make companies accountable, responsible, transparent  – campaign for a law or stringent enforcement, deal with burden of proof, collaborate with other groups who can assist.
  • Consumer demand for safer production /sustainable electronics– highlight that it is not a clean industry



  • Research the suppliers/partners of Apple, Samsung – target their shareholders, maybe pension funds or churches who hold stocks in Samsung or Apple
  • Map the industries throughout the lifecycle of the products (Electronics TakeBack Coalition will come out with a research report)
  • Create a model campaign action and simultaneously include the whole supply chain and consumers.
  • Clear expression of disapproval by consumers with regards to profit seeking companies at the expense of workers and the environment.
  • Mobilize workers – Unions task but through experience it may be difficult to mobilize workers – e.g. raising awareness of Samsung workers – need to disclose that Samsung not living up to their social responsibilities, expose the crimes. Thus target their CSR failures besides shop floor issue.


What events?

  • Global day of protest
  • Candle light vigils
  • Memorial day for workers who have been victimized
  • Use social media – Twitter, face book, web sites, etc


Need website and/or links with organizational websites


  • Action steps for different groups to take action
  • Uploading your shots/pictures to websites
  • Pledge for sustainable phone or electronics.
  • Coordinated press statements/media outreach



  • Tomorrow’s press conference is the begining
  • Connect with Good Electronics website  — Ted Smith and May Wong are on the Steering Committee of GE
  • When information is available – upload onto our own website after modifying for our own needs, conditions.



  • Global Day of Protest – start with countries that are present here and through social media can get more countries to join.


Communication Group

  • Purpose:  research and campaigns need us to help strengthen the movement – enhance our capability to communicate with others; some will be public, some will be internal; need to improve our capacity for action alerts, etc;



Communications Platforms

– instant messaging; web sites; email; publications; Skype conference calls; Facebook; twitter; Plurk; Microblogs; list serves; regular news bulletins/newsletters; videos with subtitles; YouTube; Flicka



Outreach strategy

  • Use various tools to do outreach to the public, particularly about the hazards – need for multiplier effect to reach out to media, – need to work with communications specialists – we should research communications experts in unions and NGOs to help share their expertise – Greenpeace, CWA, UAW, IMF, etc – need to raise resources to do a communications plan;


Sharing case studies and stories

  • We need to collect and disseminate – collecting victims stories can be done by visiting hospitals. There is a need for skilled interviewers who are trained; needs to be edited; and then shared widely through all of the social media channels.
  • Wiki?
  • Web site needs to be set up so that people can contribute easily with adequate security and management oversight -UC Berkeley set up a project but follow up and follow through is a challenge – or we could upload documents to a new ICRT dropbox (or other site) and then summarize them for the web site


Overcoming language barriers

  • This is one of the most important barriers and challenges – Korean, Chinese, etc; we need to develop a pool of translators similar to doctors, lawyers, etc – mostly volunteer but sometimes paid if urgent; need to determine which of our communications need to be translated


Additional challenges:

  • Overcoming barriers (communications with workers, etc)
  • Providing a platform for workers friendly professionals
  • Needs to be concise, well organized, and easily accessed and understood
  • Challenges for why we don’t communicate better?  We need to develop shared ownership!



  • Need to develop a communications plan (similar to what ETBC did)
  • Need to develop a communications strategy for APHA in SF in October



  • Need for communications steering committee

 Millie (CET); Sally (AMRC); Juliana (CLSN) ; Edwin (FSPMI Indonesia); Kong (SHARPS); Ted (ICRT)

  • Need one person who can take responsibility for newsletter – Ted can start on this
  • Include contact person for each country
  • Need someone to administer all of the communications (and recognize that it takes time!)



  • ICRT list serve is there now;
  • ICRT web site in next week or two
  • Set up links to others web sites; ;
  • Facebook by end of July;


Millie presents a rough draft of a Google map, introducing the plan or having a map of resources and campaigns in the global electronics.  This can become an important collaborative project

Key recommendations from SAICM in Vienna presented to the workshop by Ted Smith:


(Full set of recommendations are available here)


The Participants of the International Workshop on Hazardous Substances within the Life Cycle of Electronic and Electrical Products hereby recommends to SAICM the following initiatives:

1. Environmentally sound manufacturing and capacity building

2. Right to Know Information about hazards

3. Exposure and monitoring

4. Health surveillance and disease prevention

5. Work environment


Day 3 – June 20, 2012


Finalize The Action Plan from Korean Meeting


Goals, specific outcomes, responsibilities and time lines for Research, Campaigns and Communications


(see page 2 for the plan summary)


Press Conference and Protest at Samsung


 1 samsung protest with icrt group

 Strategy Meeting participants with Samsung Victims at Samsung Headquarters in Seoul


2 yu mi father                  3 ae jung

            Sang-gi Hwang and Ae-Jung                                                          Ae-Jung

4 kong at samsung                 5 sanjiv miri etc at samsung

Dr Kong at Samsung Protest                      Sanjiv, Miri, Ted, Arnel & Lek at Samsung

6 candlelight vigil in suwon

                            Candlelight Vigil outside Suwon Station

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