protesting over GP batteries allegedly inadequate protection for workers at its battery plant in Huizhou

From "pioneerhk" <>
Date Mon, 13 Sep 2004 14:04:11 +0800

Factory boss in standoff with rights protesters
South China Morning Post
11st Sept  2004

    Gold Peak Industries chairman and chief executive Victor Lo Chung-
wing was forced into a standoff yesterday with about 30 labour and
human rights representatives.

  The group was protesting over the company's allegedly inadequate
protection for workers at its battery plant in Huizhou, many of whom
were suffering from the effects of high cadmium levels.

  Mr Lo received a complaint letter at the entrance of the JW Marriot
hotel after the group tried in vain to storm the company's annual
general meeting.

  The protesters said they were dissatisfied with Mr Lo's empty
promises and vowed to escalate their campaign at Polytechnic
University, where  Mr Lo is council chairman.

  In July, about 100 workers at the GP Batteries plant were admitted
to hospital with high levels of cadmium. Twenty were found to be in a
serious condition.

  <I>Globalisation Monitor </I>editor Poon Man-hon demanded the firm
hire independent doctors to examine its workers.

  Previously, the company said the employees' cadmium levels had
passed government tests. But when the workers went to other doctors
for similar tests, the levels were much higher, he said.

  Mr Poon pointed out workers were provided only with paper masks
prior to the high cadmium levels being exposed.

  Mr Lo agreed his company would shoulder responsibility for
compensation, promising to consider the need for a medical fund and
examinations by private doctors.

  However, he refused to commit to a timetable.

   Mr Lo denied accusations that his company had reprimanded
employees who complained to the central government about a lack of
protection at the factory.

  We would never pressurise workers in that manner, he said.

    Copyright (c) 2004. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All
rights reserved.