How a Factory Worker Lost Her Life at Taiwan’s Tyntek


Tyntek only had one set of fully protective clothing on hand. This set of clothing was given to a Taiwanese worker.

Yeah, who cares about the foreigner workers?

Also, the OSHA accident and inspection reports are so full of holes that it is hard to not think there’s corruption involved.

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According to the contents of the OSHA report and the testimonies of several workers who spoke to Ketagalan Media and SPA, investigators from OSHA did not interview any non-Taiwanese employees at Tyntek in the process of compiling their report. Several workers expressed a willingness to speak to investigators but said they were never contacted.

Yeh Pei-chieh (葉沛杰), a section chief in the Ministry of Labor’s Division of Planning and Occupational Health, OSHA, told Ketagalan Media that while inspectors have the right to interview workers or eyewitnesses, there is no requirement that they do so.

‘‘decision by the Miaoli District Prosecutors Office is pending on whether to file criminal charges against Tyntek.’’

I would say it will 'go Away.


Good grief. Hydrofluoric acid? What a way to go. They don’t go into details, but I imagine she died of shock.

To some extent, it’s the fault of the workers for accepting these jobs in the first place. They seem not to understand that Taiwan is not the Philippines, which means that laws are (usually) enforced, and that workers are (usually) protected from extremely hazardous operations. But you do have to speak to the right people. If you can’t find the right people, then FFS leave.

What baffles me is that this process would surely be easier, faster and more reliable with automation. Why would anybody in their right mind get a human to do it?

I was just reading it can interfere with the body’s calcium metabolism and lead to cardiac arrest.

Yes I believe she died of shock.
It sounds like madness alright. No safety training, dealing with strong acids all day. It’s the employers responsibility to have a safe work environment for employees.

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I agree with you on the automation topic. More reliable, repeatable, scalable and efficient.

But victim blaming?! Really?


Filipinos do seem to relish being martyrs. There’s a strong culture of “sacrifice”, which possibly comes from their messed-up religious views. In the Philippines, everyone flocks to Chinese-owned companies, even though they’re renowned for treating their employees like shit. Conversely, employers who attempt to treat their employees fairly and humanely invariably end up in a world of pain: they’re seen as “soft” (as in “soft targets”) and get defrauded, stolen from, and generally disrespected. I have no idea what that’s all about, but it is what it is.

The fact remains that nobody is forced to stay at their place of employment. Of course the employer is at fault here. They sound like a bunch of incompetent cnuts. But if it’s a crap job, and you know it’s a crap job, and your employer doesn’t care, then go and find another job. Locus of control is not the same thing as fault or responsibility.

Okay. Good to see we also agree on that.

I don’t think they are able to find another job due to the contracts and loans from the brokers.
That’s why they are bringing in foreign workers for these jobs in the first place, they can’t easily up and leave from them (in Taiwan they call them the 'dirty and dangerous ’ jobs).


Yes, the system is definitely set up to ensure that people are trapped (or rather, it’s set up so that people can build their own traps). It’s nasty. But again: if you know it’s a trap, don’t walk into it. I get the sense of desperation that drives people into these scenarios; really, I do. But there’s often a lot more to this sort of thing than meets the eye. I know some people who came to Taiwan under their own steam, with some good financial sense and a good understanding of how things work here, and built a good life for themselves. I know an equal number who didn’t, mainly because of their own bad decisions. These people all started off in much the same place and took similar paths.

Not all companies are like Tyntek. Not all agents are crooks. The foreign-employee protection people are mostly pretty good at their jobs. It doesn’t have to turn out like this sad story.

You can go to those chemical stores at Tienshui st and they will have shelves of all acids, hydrofluoric, sulfuric, hydrochloric, nitric, etc. all in glass bottles, waiting for the next earthquake to turn that store into a hazmat zone…

Magellan never managed to circumnavigate the globe. He died in the Philippines. Another guy whose name escapes me finished the trek.

Unfortunately for the people of the Philippines, Magellan somehow managed to make the place Spanish and Catholic before he took an arrow. A double whammy of disaster.


What’s better Muslim or Spanish

What a disgrace.

Don’t accept jobs from these factories, not all factories are like this. I would say most factories are not like this. When I worked at my dads company, which is a competitor with this firm, each personnel had their own clean suit and shoes. So it clearly doesn’t have to be like this.

Muslim or Catholic is more apt. It’s a tough call.

Great piece of journalism by a former poster here.


Indeed. That particular combination seems to have been an utter disaster everywhere it went. Except, weirdly enough, Spain.

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It would be interesting to look at how former European colonies ended up. The British ones weren’t too bad. Obviously, Belgium’s bottom of the league table.