SAN JOSE, CA - May 22 -
What: Representatives of the Self-Help Association of Former RCA Employees, including 2 former RCA workers and organizers from the TAVOI (Taiwan Association of Victims of Occupational Injuries), are touring the United States to inform people about the toxic pollution created by RCA in Taiwan 30 years ago. They are visiting several cities and meeting with environmental groups, labor unions and government representatives.
RCA was one of the first companies to establish electronics manufacturing in Taiwan. For over twenty years, the US-based Radio Company of America (RCA) poured toxic wastewater into a well in its Taoyuan, Taiwan facility and workers and the neighboring community drank this water. The workers firmly believe that drinking the contaminated water and their exposure to chemicals while working at the RCA factory is the reason behind thousands of cancer deaths and acute illness suffered by former RCA employees. In the 1990's RCA shut down the plant and have not taken responsibility for the contaminated water or the injured workers.
The Self-Help Association of Former RCA Employees is starting a campaign to reach out to people in the U.S. to win justice for their members, bring accountability to RCA and put pressure on the United States government to use its authority to encourage RCA to make a proper resolution of this issue. SVTC has advocated for corporate responsibility for environmental and health and safety of the high-tech industry since the Fairchild spill was discovered more than 20 years ago. That contamination poisoned a local drinking water source and was linked to a cluster of birth defects in a south San Jose neighborhood.
Where: Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, 760 N. First Street, San Jose (in between Mission and Taylor Streets)
When: Thursday, May 23, 2002, 10:30 AM Press Conference.
Who: Sponsored by the Health and Environmental Justice Project of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. The press conference will feature some of the former workers from RCA's plant in Taiwan, representatives of the Self-help Association for RCA Employees Taiwan Association for Victims of Occupational Injuries(TAVOI), an attorney who represented Filipino workers who became ill at the same plant, and a representative of the Taiwan Environmental Action Network. The Silicon Valley Health and Environmental Justice Project (HEJ) is working to identify, reduce and prevent peoples' exposure to hazardous toxics where they live, work and play. Its current focus is on toxic poisoning and hazards due to the high-tech industry. The Project seeks to educate and organize community residents and workers, improve environmental and job health, and promote pollution prevention and cleaner production in the high-tech industry.
Why: "The United States should take responsibility in assuring that US corporations follow decent and protective health and safety standards, where ever they do business", said Jay Mendoza, Director of SVTC's Health and Environmental Justice Project. "RCA continues to refuse to accept responsibility for its actions. This kind of behavior would not be tolerated here in the US and it shouldn't be allowed to happen in other countries."
Other events in the Bay Area include: a meeting with environmental activists and other electronics workers at 6:30 PM at the Asian Pacific Family Resource Center (625-F Wool Creek Dr. San Jose, CA 95112. This event will include a cultural presentation by Cambodian workers. On Friday, May 24, Noon to 1:15, Harris State Building (1515 Clay Street, Oakland, CA, Training Room 11, 2nd Floor).
The Bay Area tour is sponsored by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, Santa Clara Center for Occupational Safety & Health (SCCOSH), Worksafe, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Philip Vera Cruz Justice Project (PVCJ), Occupational Health Branch, CA Dept. of Health Services, Occupational/Environmental Health Section, CPHA-North.
The workers will also be traveling to Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC where they will be meeting with the AFL-CIO and other unions, Congressman Sherrod Brown and the Labor Department.
For more information visit: http://tean.formosa.org/campaign/hightech/rca/index.html
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition