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Workers Accuse Intel of Putting Chip Production above Safety

With the current rules, regulations, and general advice surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not exactly a secret that this has had a pretty significant impact on technology companies around the world. In a report via TechPowerUp, however, Intel is seemingly receiving a lot of criticism from its staff members. Specifically, because many of them feel that the company is placing a higher priority on production rather than their overall safety!

Intel Workers Complain About COVID-19 Conditions!

In the report, it has been suggested that at least four workers at Intel’s main production factory have issued formal complaints against the companies ‘policy’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, what is the issue? Well, Intel (and specifically their floor managers) are being accused of encouraging staff to break social distancing rules to help keep the production and development of processors (presumably their Comet Lake-S platform) on target. It has been suggested that staff are being told that it’s ‘ok’ to break the 2-meter social distancing policy with other staff members, as long as contact between them is for less than 30 minutes.

If true, it doesn’t take a doctor to acknowledge that this kind of ‘workaround’ policy, if true, is completely ridiculous!

What Does Intel have to Say?

In response to these allegations, while Intel has issued a statement, all we can say is that it’s rather non-committal to some of the specifics cited against them and their management.

“Intel’s top priority in managing the coronavirus situation is protecting the health and well-being of employees while continuing to operate and support our customers around the world. This has been an incredibly dynamic and unprecedented situation, and we have worked to learn and adapt as fast as possible so we can continue to safeguard our workers and communities.

We encourage our employees to raise concerns and we work hard to address those concerns quickly. Intel submitted formal responses to the complaints and OSHA inspectors visited our sites in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico. We have not received any violations, and OSHA inspectors that visited our sites complimented us on our actions.”

So, do we think it’s possible that these allegations from workers are true? In a nutshell, probably! With Comet Lake-S hitting shelves in the next few weeks this will be one of the first major tech launches to occur through the COVID-19 pandemic and, as such, we imagine Intel has been rather keen to ensure that supply levels on the release are at least decent. That doesn’t, however, make the allegations seem any less serious in the grand scheme of things!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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