50 concerned international organizations across 18 countries, among which GoodElectronics, have signed a petition reprimanding Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE), the world’s top chip packager, for failing to deal properly with charges of illegally discharging toxic wastewater.
On February 12, Citizen of the Earth Taiwan and Ted Smith, Executive Director of the International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT) convened a press conference to bring attention to the structural misconduct of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE). Fifty concerned international organizations across 18 countries, among which GoodElectronics, have signed a petition reprimanding the world’s top chip packager for failing to deal properly with charges of illegally discharging toxic wastewater.
All of these groups have appealed to ASE and its major purchasers to accept responsibility for the environmental damages that ASE has done, to clean up the damage ASE has caused, to reinforce the information transparency regarding chemical substance applications and discharging, and not to undermine the workers’ rights when its operation has been suspended. They also call upon ASE to stop falsely representing itself as a green company.
ASE purchasers are asked not to do any business with the company until it complies with the environmental and labor rights standards. This will urge ASE to take full responsibility for its behaviors and give its utmost efforts to protect the environment as well as the rights to its workers.
Structural misconduct and indifference
ASE has a record of 25 environmental violation incidents from 2011 to 2013, averaging approximately eight violations annually. On December 20, 2013, the ASE’s K7 plant was ordered to partially suspend operations for illegally discharging wastewater into the Houjin River, which posed a threat to water safety, agriculture irrigation, and fishery downstream. However, ASE has not engaged in remediating or cleaning up the ecosystem of Houjin River for the time being, nor has it provided compensation for the losses suffered by the agriculture and fishery industries. Instead, the company filed an administrative appeal against the plant’s shutdown.
Occupying 20% of world market in the chip packing and testing of semiconductor industry, ASE generates annual revenues of $6.7 billion.
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