June 26, 2020 Press Release
Child Cobalt Miners File Amended Complaint Against Apple, Alphabet, Dell, Microsoft and Tesla For Aiding and Abetting Extreme Abuse of Children Mining Blood Cobalt in DRC
Contact: Terry Collingsworth, Executive Director
firstname.lastname@example.org 1-202-543-5811 @tpcollingsworth
On December 16, 2019 IRAdvocates filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of 14 Doe Plaintiffs who are either guardians of children killed in tunnel or wall collapses while mining cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) or children who were maimed in such accidents. Today they filed an Amended Complaint, available below, which adds additional details of Defendants’ supply chain connections and the horrible working conditions the child miners face.
The DRC has the world’s largest deposits of cobalt, an essential element of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that are in all products made by the tech and electric car companies. The tech boom has caused an explosion in demand for cobalt, but in one of the most extreme contrasts imaginable, cobalt is mined in the DRC under extremely dangerous stone age conditions by children paid a dollar or two a day to supply cobalt for some of the richest companies in the world. The lawsuit names Apple, Alphabet (Google), Dell, Microsoft, and Tesla as Defendants. Plaintiffs have evidence that these companies in particular aided and abetted suppliers Glencore and Huayou Cobalt, which profit from forcing Plaintiffs and other children to mine cobalt under conditions that led to their deaths or serious, crippling injuries.
On behalf of the child miners, the lawsuit demands that the companies pay reparations and fund rehabilitation and education programs for the families of child miners killed or maimed by the horrific conditions in the cobalt mines. Apple, Alphabet (Google), Dell, Microsoft, and Tesla are among the wealthiest and most powerful companies in the world. These companies purport to be green and futuristic, but their products are Powered by Blood Cobalt. Consumers buying these products should demand that the companies fix their supply chain rather than spend years fighting in court to avoid responsibility for the Blood Cobalt their products currently use to operate.
IRAdvocates calls upon all concerned organizations and individuals to contact the companies and demand that they stop killing and maiming children. These companies boast of their creativity and market prowess. They must use their skills, wealth and power to help these children and their families.
Apple: Submit a question at investor.apple.com/contact/default.aspx (Apple Investor Relations) OR tweet @AppleSupport, @tim_cook (Apple CEO), and @lisapjackson (Apple VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives)
Alphabet (Google): Email email@example.com (Alphabet press) OR tweet @Google, @sundarpichai (Alphabet CEO), and @KateEBrandt (Google Sustainability Officer)
Dell: Email firstname.lastname@example.org OR tweet @DellCares, @MichaelDell (Dell CEO), and @cpfrasercsr (Dell Chief Responsibility Officer)
Microsoft: Email email@example.com (Microsoft Investor Relations) OR tweet @MicrosoftHelps, @satyanadella (Microsoft CEO), and @shelleymckin (Microsoft VP of Technology and Social Responsibility)
Tesla: Submit a question at www.tesla.com/contact/about and ir.tesla.com/corporate-governance/contact-the-board (Tesla Investor Relations) OR tweet @Tesla and @ElonMusk (Tesla CEO)