Transcript: Complicit | Oct 16, 2018(music plays)
An aerial view shows images of forest covered mountains.
The name of the film reads "Complicit."
A caption reads "A film by Heather White and Lynn Zhang."
A clip shows a train riding along a mountainous area. Images of the rural and urban areas appear.
A female voice says "My dream? My dream was to leave, to leave the countryside and the mountains behind. All I wanted was to continue going to school. But my family didn't make enough money. My parents are both peasants. They both do farm work at home. I can't bear seeing them do such back-breaking work. I did not know cities existed when I was a child. I did not know the meaning of the word "city." I imagined it must be a place like paradise."
The narrator says EVERY YEAR, 260
MILLION CHINESE TRAVEL FAR FROM
HOME, JUST TO MAKE A LIVING.
THEY ARE CALLED "MIGRANT
12 MILLION ARE TEENAGERS.
The caption changes to "Guangzhou, China."
Images of a big, modern city at nighttime appear.
A voice says "Wow, the tower! There's the tower! I want to take a photo of the tower."
The caption changes to "Xiao Ya. 18 years old."
Xiao has above the shoulders straight brown hair with bangs and wears a red and white sweater.
She says "When I first saw Guangzhou, I was impressed by its splendor. I saved enough money to move to the city. It took me over a year.
I came here to work. I am from a poor family. We didn't have electricity.
When I was about one year old, I fell off the bed and the kerosene lamp fell and burned my face. Poor people are looked down upon. One time a girl laughed at me. I responded, 'What's wrong with being poor?' 'I have dignity.' I have the courage to work hard and make money."
Girls on a boat sing a song that says I want to fly higher up to the sky... higher and higher.
The caption changes to "Fan Qinmei. 18 years old."
Fan has shoulder length straight brown hair with bangs and highlights and wears white T-shirt with colourful skull prints all over.
She says "My shift usually starts at 8 a.m., and I get off work at 11 p.m., sometimes even later. Wiping was the only thing I did besides eating and sleeping. I held the phone screen in my left hand, and a piece of cloth in my right hand. I kept wiping like this."
Xiao says "There were iPhone screens and Nokia screens."
Fan says "We usually worked nonstop for a whole month, with no weekends off. There were no windows, only exhaust fans, but people seldom turned them on.
Xiao says "Sometimes I didn't even have time to rest. There were 3 or 4 days when I went completely without sleep. I'm willing to work however hard, as long as I can make money."
The narrator says CHINA PRODUCES APPROXIMATELY
90 percent OF THE WORLD'S CONSUMER
ELECTRONICS, INCLUDING 50 percent OF
THE WORLD'S CAMERAS, 70 percent OF ITS
CELLPHONES, AND 90 percent OF ITS
Fan says "For the first month, my salary was 550 dollars. I thought it was a lot of money. I kept it in my pocket and was afraid to go out. I would count it only when no one was near me. I counted it probably 20 times a day. Literally 20 times."
The caption changes to "Wen Jiabao. Former Premier of China."
Wen is in his sixties, with short brown hair and wears glasses, a black sit and a red tie.
At a conference, he says "Delegates! Today I represent the state council, to report the government work of the past five years. Our manufacturing industry is the world's largest with high technology manufacturing is growing at the rate of 13.4 percent annuallyit is the most important part of China's economy."
The caption changes to "CCTV Gala.'The Song of Migrant Workers'."
A group of people sing a song that goes "Yesterday I was a farmer.
Today I am a worker. With boundless enthusiasm I am the new master of the city! Brothers and sisters, hold your heads high!"
The caption changes to "Labor Action China, Hong Kong Office."
The caption changes to "Shek Ping-kwan. Coordinator Labour Action China."
Shek is in his seventies, with short graying hair and wears a black sweater and a gray scarf.
The caption changes to "Yi Yeting, Age 32. Activist, Labor Action China."
Yi says "Do these workers all have occupational diseases?"
Shek says "Yes, all were sickened on the job. Our job is to get compensation for people like them. This is one of the laws we have successfully changed in Guangdong. We helped legalize civil claims for compensation on behalf of workers with occupational diseases. That wasn't possible before 2004."
Yi says "So it didn't happen until 2004?"
Shek says "Correct."
Yi says "I do volunteer work for a Hong Kong worker support group
Many of the workers that I've helped got occupational diseases due to exposure to toxic chemicals. Many are from the electronics industry.
They made cellphones, computers, semiconductors etcetera. Chemical poisoning has a long incubation period. Some workers started discovering symptoms of occupational disease after they left their job. Government statistics are unreliable."
Yi meets with a man in his fifties.
The man says "Have some water. Ok. Take a seat please."
Yi says "You asked for compensation of 1.1 million yuan (150,000 US DOLLARS), right? It seems unrealistic."
The man says "I agree. But they didn't respond either."
Yi says "They're stalling."
The man says "Right."
The man show him a document.
Yi says "Let me take a photo of this."
The man says "Were it not for your help, I wouldn't have been able to get this document at all. We have tried so many times, but kept being turned down."
Yi says "They're arrogant. Government officers are forgetful of their duties. How often does Kunpeng go to hospital?"
The man says "It depends."
Yi says "Whenever he's feeling bad?"
The man says "Right. I wrote something."
Yi says "Can I take a look?"
The man says "It is hard for me to express my feelings. So I wrote them down. Quite a lot. My son just turned 26 years old this year.
This was supposed to be the prime of his life. But unfortunately, he was diagnosed with leukemia."
The caption changes to "Ming Kunpeng. Worker, Dutch semiconductor manufacturer ASM Pacific."
Ming has short receding brown hair and wears black jeans and a beige sweater.
The caption changes to "Ming Gaosheng. Ming Kunpeng's father."
Ming Gaosheng says "It was the cleaning solution he used, which contained benzene, when he was working at the electronics factory that caused his disease. We sacrificed everything we had at home to come here to cure our son."
He gives his son some medicines.
The narrator says CHINESE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT
DATA SHOWS ONE WORKER IS
POISONED BY TOXIC CHEMICALS
EVERY FIVE HOURS.
BENZENE IS THE LEADING TOXIN
THAT CAUSES OCCUPATIONAL
BENZENE IS A CARCINOGEN WIDELY
USED AS A SOLVENT IN VARIOUS
INDUSTRIES IN CHINA, BECAUSE IT
IS CHEAPER TO USE THAN OTHER
IT'S BEEN BANNED IN
COUNTRIES FOR USE AS A SOLVENT
FOR OVER FOUR DECADES.
Xiao speaks on the phone and says "Hello. Daddy?"
She says "While I'm not working, I really miss my parents a lot. I've met so many strangers. They are walking on the street. It's nothing like home. There we know each other and we speak the same language. Here it's different. The strangers you meet here, they ignore you. They don't know you. I'm afraid to talk to them. My life has changed so much. I am no longer who I used to be. I don't want to talk. I only want to work."
Fan says "Sometimes I can wipe over 700 screens a day."
Xiao says "At the beginning I felt numb and weak, I didn't know what was going on back then. I didn't think it was a big deal.
The caption changes to "Feng Lan. 28 years old. N-hexane poisoned."
Feng has long straight brown hair with bangs and wears a blue blouse.
She says "As it turned out, many co-workers developed the exact same symptoms. When I walked, it looked like I had uneven legs. It would take 10 minutes to take a two-minute walk. My legs felt too heavy to move. It was not until we got hospitalized that we learned about occupational disease and that we had been using n-hexane."
The narrator says "N-HEXANE IS USED FOR CLEANING
SCREENS IN THE ELECTRONICS
INDUSTRY, FOR FASTER
EVAPORATION AND LOWER COST.
IT CAUSES DAMAGE TO THE NERVOUS
SYSTEM, INCLUDING PARALYSIS.
The caption changes to "Shang Jiaojiao. 17 years old. N-hexane poisoned."
Shang has long slightly wavy brown hair with bangs and wears a yellow blouse with white ruffles as sleeves.
She chokes up and says "You know what? When I was in Huangjiang hospital
when I couldn't walk, I didn't dare to tell my mother. I was hoping...
I was hoping that by coming out to work, I could relieve some of the burden from my parents. But the truth is I ended up as their burden."
Yi says "I've been through 28 chemotherapies. My bones really hurt.
Like being bitten by a swarm of ants from inside out. So painful. I got leukemia when I was 24. It was so hard to believe because I was very healthy, I won several martial arts prizes when I was serving in the military. How could a healthy soldier get leukemia?"
The caption changes to "CIMC Shipping Containers. Yi Yeting's employer from 2002-2005. I was poisoned by benzene. Occupational cancer, leukemia caused by benzene. At that time several of my co-workers fell sick with leukemia. I encouraged them to join me to try and get an occupational disease diagnosis."
The caption changes to "Cheng Chuang. Yi Yeting's co-worker, CIMC."
Cheng is in his forties, with short spiky black hair and wears a blue T-shirt with a print on the front.
Cheng says "The company sent me here. I was accompanied to Guangzhou occupational disease precaution clinic by several managers from the factory. They brought a bag...a bag of money...I thought it was for paying my medical bills. But later I found out that none of my medical bills were paid. I was very confused. I told Yi my suspicion and asked if there might be something corrupt going on."
Yi says "This is a bribe list which shows the pay-offs my company sent to the occupational-disease diagnostic departments in the hospital. A colleague accidentally found this list in the company's computer. It's notated as a 'supplemental list.' I don't have the ability to find the total amount of bribes paid. But I am sure it's much more than what's written here. The organizations that received bribes include both regional occupational disease hospitals and departments of public health.
After I obtained the evidence of the bribery, eventually I got the official diagnosis. Corporate and bureaucratic obstructions make it difficult for migrant workers to defend their rights. Many sick workers can't afford to wait."
Yi visits a woman and says "I can't promise you that we will get a diagnosis for your son in the end. But I promise you that I will devote 100 percent of myself. I have leukemia too. I truly understand your pain."
The woman says "After he got sick, when he was talking to his friends,
and someone mentioned Apple he would say 'Stop talking about Apple. Simply hearing the word gives me a headache.' 'Because of Apple I'm going to die soon.'"
Yi says "Whether Yi Long's death was due to negligence, we need to investigate the matter to find the truth."
A man says "I raised my son to adulthood. He had just started to work, but then all this trauma happened. The factory terminated his contract 3 months after he got sick. It was very upsetting."
The woman says "My son's soul won't rest in peace until he gets justice."
An announcer says "Every day at AM, 160,000 people gather here at Foxconn. In this working area of less than three square kilometers, the stream of people never stops flowing for five days a week."
A man says "Foxconn is the largest manufacturing company in the world.
It employs over one million workers."
The announcer says "An average worker must repeat this movement every five seconds, 5000 times a day."
The man says "Apple is their biggest client, accounting for over 50 percent of their sales."
A news broadcaster says "If you have a product idea, Foxconn can turn it into a product in 48 hours. They will give you the lowest price possible."
A reporter says "Terry Gou (CEO of Foxconn) is very confident that China's manufacturing industry will continually grow."
Gou says "This is a great opportunity to invest more, especially to nurture young talents."
Yi says "If Foxconn can improve its working environment, more companies will follow. We are trying to push the whole electronics industry to improve working conditions, so that the workers won't be poisoned by benzene again."
The caption changes to "Labor Action China. Guangzhou office."
On the phone, Yi says "We need to obtain some documents from Foxconn in order to start the process. In particular, the environmental monitoring document. That's part of the proof we need to submit. It's difficult to get. But at least you should try."
The woman that lost his child makes a phone call.
The operator says "Thank you for calling Foxconn."
The woman says "Hello. I...Is that Foxconn?"
The operator says "Please dial again! Thank you!"
The woman says "What was that? Dial again?"
She calls again repeatedly.
A machine says "The line is busy. The phone you are calling is powered off. The phone number you are calling doesn't exist."
Ming Gaosheng says "I had high expectations for my son. As you can tell from the name I gave him... Isn't it obvious? 'Kun Peng Zhan Chi.' (sigh)...means.. an eagle soaring with its wings fully open. So he could be like the eagle, flying high. That was my high hope."
Ming Kupeng says "Sounds ironic now, huh? I've achieved nothing...I had so many dreams when I was little...I wanted to be a scientist, or a pilot, or an engineer...All sorts of dreams... Now I've ended up creating nothing, not even a bike."
Ming Gaosheng says "That's not true! You did make a radio when you were in school. Did you wash your hair today? Your birthday is approaching soon.
Do you want to go back home, Kunpeng? Do you want to go back to our hometown? Let's go back home. Your grandmother was asking about you, wondering when we would go home."
The narrator says SIX WEEKS LATER, 27-YEAR-OLD
MING KUNGPENG COMMITTED
SUICIDE BY JUMPING FROM THE
12TH FLOOR OF THE HOSPITAL
Yi says "When I got sick, I didn't want anyone to talk about my disease.
I rented a room and didn't want to see anyone. I hid myself and lived like a mouse in the darkness."
A toddler says "Daddy, I have a toy plane."
Yi says "Really?"
The boy says "Really."
Yi says "But later, I realized that a man should act like a man.
I must stand up and weather the storm. I want to live. I want to be there for my family."
A clip shows a man with a blurred face.
Another man says "Press this button to record. If you want to capture the whole body, you need to keep a distance of 1.2 meters. Step back a bit. The angle may go up."
A woman says on the phone "Hello! Is this Manager Su at Zhao Wei Electronics?"
A man says "Yes."
The woman says "Where is your factory? So you work for the secondary suppliers of Apple and Samsung?"
The man says "Correct, we provide to their contractors."
The caption changes to "Fang Tai Hua Wei (Zhao Wei Electronics)."
The narrator says APPLE DENIES ANY CONNECTION TO
THIS FACTORY WHERE 39 YOUNG
WORKERS WERE POISONED BY
A camera man says "Let's go! Let's go!"
A woman says "We are here to meet Mr. Su..."
The narrator says THIS IS THE FACTORY WHERE XIAO
YA AND HER COWORKERS WERE
POISONED BY N-HEXANE.
THE NEUROLOGICAL DAMAGE THEY
HOSPITALIZATION FOR ONE TO
A man with a blurred face says "These are for iPhone 5. Components for iPhone 5."
A worker at the factory says "Take a seat, please."
A manager says "Do you smoke? Try this cigarette made in Chongqing, my hometown."
The man shows him a phone and says "We basically can make anything except for the one with the curved edge."
The woman says "It's an iPhone 6, isn't it?"
Another manager says "As long as it doesn't have a logo we can make it for you. With logos, it's another matter."
The woman says "The brands didn't directly send you orders?"
The man says "Right. We are not on the supplier list. Their official suppliers couldn't meet the production goal. So they outsource to us.
We are the subcontractor. But ultimately the products come from us."
The woman says "Can I take a tour through your workshop?"
The first executive says "The front area is Okay. Not the back."
A man on the phone says "The parts for Foxconn and BYD go through many hands, but ultimately all come from us."
The woman says "So Foxconn assembles parts from other factories, and those factories hire you guys?"
The man says "Yes. Then Foxconn uses them in Apple products."
One of the managers says "Here is the dust-free workshop. Let's not go in, OK? It's only used for printing."
The narrator says BOTH MANAGERS DENIED THE
REQUEST TO VISIT THE SECOND
FLOOR WHERE THE WORKERS WERE
FOXCONN DIDN'T RESPOND TO THE
FILMMAKER'S INQUIRY ABOUT ITS
CONNECTION TO THE FACTORY.
At dinner, a woman says "We were clueless back then. We knew nothing about the industry."
Xiao says "I knew we worked with chemicals, but I had no idea that it's poison."
Feng says "All chemicals have poison."
Xiao says "Right, I just didn't know this one was so serious. It was yellow. The bad ones the manager bought."
Feng says "Workshop 3 started exuding that terrible smell."
Another woman at the table says "Have you noticed that the workers from Workshop 3 developed more serious diseases?"
A fourth woman says "Those cheap solvents almost killed us."
Feng says "What made me furious was when Xiao Hei was too sick to move,
the manager blamed you for giving the disease to others. He said everything was fine before Xiao Hei started working here."
Fan says "He said, 'Even if you die, it's none of my business.'
Xiao says "To be frank, we're useless. We're only burdens to our families."
The caption changes to "News Archive. 2012 local news report, Donguan TV."
A newscaster says "Now let's talk about Huangjiang Town. Recently, Huangjing hospital is filled with patients. They are all from the same factory, and diagnosed with the same disease."
A young woman says "We didn't realize it was n-hexane poisoning until we got hospitalized."
A middle-aged man says "It was possibly due to poor ventilation.
There's a management problem."
The newscaster says "However, our reporter discovered that several workers were still using n-hexane to wipe cell phone screens."
The reporter says "The workers were poisoned in that room?"
A man says "Uh...not this room."
The newscaster says "While the poisoned workers are getting treatment in the hospital, the other workers are still working with toxic chemicals in the factory. I want to ask the owner of this factory: is money more important than human lives?"
At a hospital, Yi says "Find a good writer among you and write your stories down. Only we fellow injured workers can truly understand each other."
A woman says "Outsiders don't get it."
Yi says "They tend to be suspicious.'So you're poisoned... Is it contagious?'."
Shang says "So true!"
Xiao says "Totally!"
Yi says "We are trapped in this prison. Our basic human rights are violated. Our needs as injured workers are neglected. So everybody here should learn how to use Weibo (Chinese version of Twitter). Use social media to let more people know our lives. This is our media."
A protester on the street says "You bastards. You kept my son's ID illegally. You murdered my son on purpose. That's the only son I had!
Foxconn is so evil and cruel! I want Foxconn to bring my son back to me.
I want justice. Let that be a memento for Foxconn."
Yi says "New social media such as Weibo, QQ, and Wechat have truly empowered us. We are able to communicate with and share our stories with the world."
Someone says "What's on the screen?"
Yi's son plays with a toy car on the computer.
Yi says "Daddy needs to work. Did I ask you to behave when Daddy is working?"
The boy says "I don't know."
A female voice says "Xinxin! come over here. Don't interrupt Daddy's work.
The woman holds a toy and says "Did Daddy sew it with this?"
The boy says "Yep. He did the back too."
The woman says "Not very pretty... He shouldn't have used the black thread."
Yi says "An organization based in Amsterdam invited me to attend an anti-benzene conference. They will be discussing benzene poisoning in the electronics industry. It's a good opportunity to send our voices out to the world. At border control, I was told by an officer that
according to certain regulations, I'm not allowed to leave the country."
On the phone, Yi says "How long did you work for Foxconn?"
Yi says "After we discovered so many workers with leukemia at Foxconn, more media reports followed up and showed that these workers were chemically poisoned. That's when Foxconn released a public statement that they do not use chemicals like benzene and n-hexane. But we think Foxconn is lying. So you did some more research on our own."
On the phone, Yi says "How did you manage to get the money to do the bone marrow transplant? Did you borrow from family and friends or what?"
The person on the other end of the line says "I borrowed some of the money. I also got some money from a loan shark."
Yi says "In just ten years, we have changed three laws in China.
The local government shut down our non-profit organization,
and wouldn't allow us access to our office. The government security forces implied that our recent activities stepped on the tail of the big tiger."
A clip from a hidden camera shows a man in military uniform arguing with another man.
The second man says "Stop! What are you doing? These belong to us.
The military man says "Do you know who you're talking to?"
The other man says "You robbers! Don't touch our belongings. He's filming us. Let's film him!"
Another man says "I am filming him."
Yi says "Every local NGO is dealing with forced evictions."
Evicted people say "Help! Put these down! You stop!"
Yi says "In order to help workers, we just have to keep relocating. The guy who has lost his right arm is my friend Panzi. But then he disappeared after his office got shut down. And there's still no word of him."
Subtitles read "Go away! Help! What are you doing."
The caption changes to "Nan Fei Yan. Social Service Center."
The caption changes to "He Xiaobo. Director of Nan Fei Yan."
He is in thirties, with short straight black hair and wears a gray T-shirt.
He gives Xiao a clipboard and says "Fill in this form. We will notify you of any upcoming events.
Xiao says "I might not be a qualified volunteer. I mostly want to learn more about my disease."
He says "Sure, no problem."
He says "80 percent of our volunteers are workers who were injured at work themselves. They receive training here and learn how to advocate for themselves and others."
He gives Xiao a book called "Work-related injury law."
He says "Read the material, and then share the information with other workers in the hospital. You can do volunteer work anytime, anywhere, on any occasion."
Xiao says "Although I don't have many skills, I want to learn and I want to help others. I will do my very best."
He says "Very good."
Xiao says "Although there are no skyscrapers in my village, I still think it's the most beautiful place in the world. I miss my parents. Are they eating well? Are they sleeping well? What are they doing each day? Perhaps they are busy working on the farm. They couldn't see how my life unfolded.
I wish I could cook a big meal for them, do laundry for them, and clean the house for them. The pain and hardship I endured are my secrets.
I don't want my parents to worry about me. No words can fully express how I feel. I cannot see them. I have a home that I cannot go back to."
On a train, Yi's wife says "Where are we going?"
Xinxin says "To visit Dad."
Mom says "What's wrong with your dad?"
Xinxin says "He caught a cold."
Mom says "Do you know what to say when you see daddy?"
Xinxin says "I don't know."
Mom says "You should say, 'are you feeling better, daddy?'
Then you'll say, 'if you get better, we can go home together!'
Tell him all this, will you?"
At the hospital, Yi says "Xinxin, did you miss me?"
Yi's wife says "When we met, he was already sick. Because I chose to go out with a sick person, the people at the factory judged me.
They made fun of me and said bad things. We got married in 2007.
I still haven't told my family that he's sick."
Yi gets dressed and says "Today is the first time for Foxconn leukemia families to get together. Five Foxconn families will be present at this meeting."
At the meeting, he says "We have found over twenty Foxconn leukemia cases. We knew for a long time that Foxconn had violated many rules.
However, it wasn't until Long's mother had gotten this exact document from the authorities that we learned that there had been lasers, BTEX (a form of benzene) and X-Rays involved. Foxconn mentioned none of those in the standard contracts that we signed. That's definitely a violation of the law on prevention of occupational diseases."
The woman that lost her son says "The company blamed us for getting sick, denying any connection with the matter. 'There are more workers who didn't get sick. Why did it only happen to you?' 'This is your own fault.'"
Yi says "When your sons or daughters are struggling with leukemia, their lives are hanging by a thread. Foxconn cut off your health insurance and stopped paying salaries."
The father says "We demand justice directly from the government. We'll see if the government can deal with Foxconn or not. We want justice."
Yi says "This is a good start. As long as we stick together and support each other, we shall succeed in the end."
A newscaster says "The UK paper Daily Mail reported a story about workers getting poisoned in Shenzhen at Foxconn. They died from toxic chemicals."
A reporter says "The Daily Mail revealed that Foxconn workers in Shenzhen got leukemia from making iPhone 6."
Another reporter says "A doctor interviewed says it's rare to see young people 20 years old diagnosed with leukemia. The Hong Kong NGOs and victims' families believe toxic chemicals used for cleaning the screens caused the leukemia."
Another newscaster says "NGOs from Hong Kong and Taiwan are united to hold a press conference today."
Another reporter says "The labor groups in the conference said they would submit a petition and ask for the improvement of production environment during the board meeting on the 25th."
A protester says "We ask 'Boss Gou' to come out and talk to us directly."
A group of protesters chants "Stop killing workers."
A reporter says "With local police guarding the building in case of conflicts, Foxconn's board meeting continued. CEO Terry Guo couldn't help but fire back."
Gou says "These groups from UK to HK to Taiwan, they are simply puppets! Puppets! Puppets! I won't waste my time speaking to them."
A reporter says "Foxconn emphasizes their working environment meets the international and local standards. Moreover, they have passed the evaluation by the US Fair Labor Association."
Another reporter says "Foxconn states that the workers who claimed to get leukemia at work were from various workplaces. They were never exposed to toxic chemicals such as benzene."
A female newscaster says "Guo believes the labor groups put on an act just to get his money."
Gou says "The truth is we spent over one million RMB (150,000 US DOLLARS) to treat one worker's leukemia. Another worker, who already died,
his family felt it's unfair unless they were given the 1 million RMB as well. That's over one million RMB, guys! Just to treat one sick worker!
But for that dead worker, his family wanted the money as well.
You are already dead! How could I give you the money?"
The newscaster says "In reaction to Guo's aggressive response, labor groups will consider their legal options."
Goy says "Now I am telling you, the purpose of those British tabloids is to attack -to attack Apple, attack 'Made in China' and attack us Foxconn. They are fighting on behalf of no one. Uh... This...No need to give me any legal or PR advice this time. It's crystal clear. I despise those British tabloids. Mind your own business, you! Go investigate how Princess Diana died. This is none of your business."
The narrator says THE FOXCONN TECHNOLOGY GROUP
STATES THAT IT DOES NOT ALLOW
ANY ENTITY WITHIN THEIR COMPANY
TO USE BENZENE OR N-HEXANE, AND
HAS NOT PROCURED OR USED THESE
CHEMICALS IN ANY ASPECT OF
THEIR OPERATIONS FOR MANY
The caption changes to "Global Network Meeting on the Responsible Use of Chemicals in Electronics. San Francisco, USA."
The caption changes to "Jason Chan, Executive Director, Labor Action China."
Jason is in his thirties, with short brown hair and wears glasses and a white and blue gingham shirt.
Jason addresses attendees at a conference and says THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE
INVITATION, I'M JASON FROM LABOR
IT'S A HONG KONG-BASED
ORGANIZATION, AND WE ARE WORKING
A LOT ON OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES.
YOU SEE, YI YETING, HE IS ONE OF
OUR WORKERS, AND HE IS BASED IN
HE DEVELOPED BENZENE-INDUCED
LEUKEMIA WHEN HE WORKED FOR
The narrator says YI YETING WAS
DENIED PERMISSION TO FLY TO THE
US TO ATTEND THE CONFERENCE.
(COMPUTER ALERT CHIMING)
They video call with Yi.
Jason says "Hi Yeting! We have colleagues from all over the world here.
They're very interested to hear about your story."
Yi says "After investigating, we found over 20 cases of leukemia at the Guanlan plant of Foxconn. Foxconn is a major supplier of Apple's. As the workers get sick, it has been denying that leukemia is related to the working conditions at its factory."
A female speaker at the conference says ACTUALLY, I THINK THAT THE
BRANDS ARE THE MOST RESPONSIBLE,
BECAUSE THE PROFIT GOES TO THE
BRAND, AND ACTUALLY, FOR
INSTANCE, FOXCONN, THEY ONLY GET
LIKE 4 DOLLARS FOR EACH DEVICE THAT
THEY PRODUCE FOR APPLE.
A male speaker says ELECTRONIC INDUSTRIES ARE
BASICALLY CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES,
AND THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND
THOUSANDS OF CHEMICALS BEING
Another man says AN OVERVIEW HERE, VERY
FEW OF THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
OF CHEMICALS IN USE HAVE BEEN
ADEQUATELY CHARACTERIZED FOR
THEIR HUMAN HEALTH EFFECTS, AND
EVEN FEWER FOR THEIR
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH EFFECTS.
THE RATE AT WHICH WE IDENTIFY
AND CLASSIFY CARCINOGENS IS
SIMPLY... SIMPLY PATHETIC.
WE REVIEW MAYBE A COUPLE OF
CHEMICALS A YEAR.
Yi says "The workers I met worked for Sony, Samsung, Philips, Apple and other brands."
An attendee at the conference says THE REAL PROBLEM OF THIS
ELECTRONIC INDUSTRY IS THE
ABSENCE OF WATCHING EYES.
A reporter says THE WORKER SAFETY
GROUP, BANOLIM, HAS DOCUMENTED
MORE THAN 200 CASES OF SERIOUS
ILLNESSES AMONG FORMER SAMSUNG
SEMICONDUCTOR AND LCD WORKERS.
PART OF ITS BATTLE HAS BEEN
GETTING SAMSUNG TO SAY WHICH
CHEMICALS WERE IN USE, BUT AN
HAS FOUND THAT AT LEAST SIX
TIMES, SOUTH KOREAN AUTHORITIES
HAVE, AT SAMSUNG'S REQUEST,
WITHHELD THAT INFORMATION.
SAMSUNG SAYS IT FEARS TRADE
SECRETS WILL BE EXPOSED.
The caption changes to "Pauline Overeem, Network Coordinator, Good Electronics, Amsterdam."
Pauline is in her forties, with short gray hair and wears a black cardigan sweater.
She says THE BRAND, THAT'S ALSO THE
LEVEL WHERE THE MONEY IS MADE,
WHERE THE PROFITS ARE MADE.
THEY SHOULD STOP HIDING BEHIND
THEY SHOULD PROVIDE TRANSPARENCY
ABOUT THE CHEMICALS THAT ARE
USED IN THE MANUFACTURING
PROCESS, HOW THESE CHEMICALS ARE
ABOUT THE EXPOSURE LEVELS.
The caption changes to "Guangzhou to Xiangyang, 900 miles."
A clip shows a big family celebration.
Yi says "In my hometown, kids have a coming-of-age ceremony when they turn 12. Today it's my nephew's turn."
At the table, Yi says "Please eat! Enjoy the food."
Yi says "I'm worried because I don't even know if I can live till my son's 12th birthday. Those thoughts... scare me. I am not prepared to die yet."
Yi's father says "Our family was too poor. Your mother was not in good health either. We had to ask you to become a migrant worker.
If you hadn't gone, you wouldn't be sick now. Look at our family.
Why do we have to suffer all this? The legal system is not sound.
The factories should take responsibility and give us an explanation."
Yi says "Try to think positively. I wouldn't have lived if they didn't pay my medical bills, right? Take it easy. I have too much pressure."
Yi's father wipes off his tears.
A woman says "You keep helping other people. But who helps you?"
Yi says "Don't say things like that."
The woman says "I hope you get some help too. I hope people will appreciate your good heart and help you back."
Yi walks in decaying house and says "This is the home I grew up in.
But now we've lost our roots."
Yi's wife says "My husband makes a joke.'Maybe one day we can afford to buy a house, and if we get divorced, then my son can live in the house.' Why would we ever get a divorce? I know that he really means that what if one day he dies. I told him I would never divorce him no matter what."
The caption changes to "Ban Benzene Conference."
Fan says "Hi everyone, my name is Fan Qinmei. I come from Guizhou.
We are poisoned by n-hexane."
A woman says "I have benzene-caused occupational leukemia."
Yi says "All of us here suffer from benzene poisoning. This is the Chinese character for benzene. This logo represents our goal to ban the use of benzene. For the moment, China still hasn't signed the 1971 International Benzene Convention, which aims to protect workers against hazards arising from benzene. What we are trying to do is to get China to sign this convention. Try to think of our children, who can promise they won't work as migrant workers? Who can promise we can protect them their whole lives?
Every one of us should speak out. Stand up and share your story.
We should inform the public."
A newscaster says "Recently, a group of benzene-poisoned workers refuse to remain silent. They together released a statement demanding to ban benzene from production."
The caption changes to "Labor Action China Campaign Video."
Yi says "I acted only for myself in the beginning. But now it's turned into a collective action."
A picture of a man in a gas mask appears with the caption "53 benzene-poisoned workers demand factories stop using benzene."
A headline from the Guangzhou Daily reads "Say NO to Benzene!"
A caption reads "Signatures of workers who protest against use of benzene."
A group of protesters say "Where is the responsibility of the company?"
In the campaign video, Yi says "No compensation can buy a life."
Xiao says "How many were sick?"
A woman says "Six."
Xi says "I hope every NGO present at this meeting can help us get out the voice of China's benzene victims."
Pauline says IT WOULD COST LESS
THAN ONE DOLLAR MORE TO PRODUCE
A SMARTPHONE WITHOUT USING
COMPANIES NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT
EVERYONE, ALL WORKERS IN THE
ENTIRE SUPPLY CHAIN, ARE SAFE.
A reporter says APPLE ANNOUNCED
IT'S BANNING THE USE OF TWO
CHEMICALS IN ITS FACTORIES
AFTER PETITIONS FROM LABOUR
THE GROUPS, GREEN AMERICA AND
CHINA LABOR WATCH, URGED APPLE
TO STOP USING BENZENE, A KNOWN
CARCINOGEN, AND N-HEXANE, WHICH
CAN CAUSE NERVE DAMAGE.
THE COMPANY ANNOUNCED ITS
DECISION THURSDAY, SAYING
"WE'RE COMMITTED TO REMOVING
TOXINS FROM OUR PRODUCTS AND
PROCESSES, BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS
THE RIGHT TO A SAFE PRODUCT AND
A SAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT."
Headlines read "Apple bans chemical that causes nerve damage" and "Apple bans two hazardous chemicals from assembly lines."
The caption changes to "Tim Cook. CEO, Apple."
Tim is in his fifties, with short gray hair and wears glasses, a blue suit and a gray shirt.
He says NO ONE IN OUR INDUSTRY IS
DOING MORE TO IMPROVING WORKING
CONDITIONS THAN APPLE.
A caption reads "Apple advertisement."
Captions read "We perfect, we start over, enhances every life it touches."
Yi meets with a man in an office.
The man says "That was such a joke. That Apple banned benzene was misleading to consumers. It didn't go far enough. It claims to ban benzene in the final assembly."
Yi says "The manufacturing of a cell phone, from molding, component manufacturing and assembling, to wiping screens, washing electric plates,
every process uses cleaning detergents that contain benzene.
Foxconn said, 'We don't use benzene.' Meanwhile, Foxconn never said what alternatives the company has been using. How can it be persuasive that the company didn't use benzene at all?"
The man says "Foxconn and Apple, they're big. But somebody has to take the first step... and confront them. Right, to confront them. If nobody does, they will become worse. Benzene is widely used in various industries.
Sporting goods, printing, and electronic products, as well as finishing materials, all contain benzene. Not only are the workers working in very toxic environments, but also the customers who buy the products are also exposed to benzene."
Pauline says OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND
SAFETY IS NOT A BATTLE AGAINST
ANY ONE COMPANY, IT IS AN
INDUSTRY WIDE, AND GLOBAL ISSUE.
The caption changes to "Philippines."
A clip shows images of a protest.
The caption changes to "Australia."
Protesters say "Safety must be law! You are killing us no more."
Pauline says WE ARE LOOKING FOR A MOVEMENT, A
GLOBAL MOVEMENT OF CONSUMERS TO
CHANGE THE INDUSTRY.
AT THE MOMENT, CONSUMERS DON'T
HAVE A BENZENE-FREE CHOICE.
THERE ARE NO BENZENE-FREE
BUT CONSUMERS CAN ASK, AND CAN
GET IN TOUCH WITH BRANDS AND SAY
"WHAT IS THIS WHOLE ISSUE WITH
I AM WORRIED, AND CONCERNED
ABOUT BENZENE POISONING."
AND PUT SOME PRESSURE ON BRANDS.
Yi says "The road will be very difficult. But I am very confident."
A demonstrator gives a flyer to a passer-by and says "The phone you use contains benzene."
Yi says "A single spark can start a flame. I believe if we come together, we can win the war against benzene."
A reporter says "Recently, Guangdong province has stepped up pressure on non-profit groups. 15 labor activists and leaders of four local labor organizations were detained. He Xiaobo, director of Nanfeiyan Labor NGO, has been officially arrested."
The caption changes to "He Xiaobo, director of Nan Fei Yan Worker's Center where Xiao Ya volunteered."
Today we are here to protest against the Chinese government's oppression, for basic worker's rights.
Protesters hold signs that read "Free Chinese labour activists now!"
A female says over a loudhailer "Activists you will never be alone.
Our fight will never end!"
Gou says to reporters "If Foxconn made unreasonable demands on workers, they would quit. But the reality is if we have one opening now, three people are fighting for the opportunity. We ignore those who criticize us."
A Foxconn ad rolls.
An announcer says "Love is our culture. (Foxconn)."
A grieving father visits the tomb of his child.
The text on the tombstone reads "Though you will never return to me in this life, one day I will die and come to you."
In the hospital, Xiao writes a letter and says "Dear Dad and Mom, how are you? I cannot be around to take care of you. Will you forgive me?
One has to believe that she is strong and brave. I will strive to live a happy life. I need to be strong. We are not fighting alone."
A caption reads "The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. - Steve Jobs."
The caption changes to "Yi Yeting has now received 35 chemotherapy treatments. He recently left his job at Labor Action China due to health problems. Yi Long's mother and the other Foxconn families continue to seek occupational disease diagnoses, claiming Foxconn is responsible for their children's deaths. Xiao Ya was finally discharged from the hospital after spending over three years there. She returned to her hometown. Some of her poisoned colleagues have returned to work in the same factory where they were poisoned by n-hexane.
The end credits roll.
Directed by Heather White and Lynn Zhang.
Produced by Heather White.
A Cadmium and Cotton LLC Production.
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
A caption reads "For more information, go to complicitfilm.org."