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Workers Claim Intel Isn't Following Proper Coronavirus Precautions

Fab 42 in Arizona

(Image credit: Intel)

According to a report on Bloomberg Law, Intel is being accused of prioritizing CPU production at its factories over ensuring the safety of employees with regards to the coronavirus.

In a statement, Intel said the following:

"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."

Bloomberg's report detailed various concerns filed to U.S. government agencies, most notably accusing Intel of not enforcing social distancing rules and stationing employees workstations too close together on the factory floor without shielding or providing masks.

Intel has also been accused of failing to isolate employees who tested positive for COVID-19. At one site in Oregon, there were accusations that Intel let workers with symptoms "return to work without providing proof they tested negative for COVID-19."

“We completely understand that people would be concerned,” Darcy Ortiz, a VP and GM of corporate services at Intel’s manufacturing, told Bloomberg. “We have a strong safety culture. We’ve provided a means for people to escalate issues. We welcome that.” 

Intel told Bloomberg that as far as it is aware, no virus transmissions have taken place at its plants. It's worth noting that the complaints come from various different fabs, including facilities in Oregon, New Mexico and Arizona.

Purportedly, Intel's method of enforcing the social distancing rules are more flexible than legislation dictates. Multiple complaints claimed that managers have told employees that they are allowed to break the 6-foot rule, as long as it is for less than 30 minutes. 

Intel has said that it's keeping output high because its products are essential and that it's implemented new policies around employee safety. 

Prior to the outbreak, Intel already suffered from manufacturing issues, and with the success of AMD's Ryzen CPUs, Intel has been witnessing increasing pressure to sort out the manufacturing delays. 

To solve its problems, there have been reports of Intel outsourcing chip production. Meanwhile, many of Intel's big-time customers have been looking elsewhere to source its chips, including Apple, which is pushing Arm development

Editor's note: This article was updated to include comment from Intel. 

  • TerryLaze
    Prior to the outbreak, Intel already suffered from manufacturing issues, and with the success of AMD's Ryzen CPUs, Intel has been witnessing increasing pressure to sort out the manufacturing delays.


    To solve its problems, there have been reports of Intel outsourcing chip production.
    Yeah I very much doubt that intel is feeling any pressure or is trying to increase their production because of the "success" of ryzen.
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    This is complete bull. The measures we've taken at not just the Oregon facility but our sites around the world are second to none. Safety is 1st at Intel. Hell, I'm working on a plasma etch tool right now from my garage.
    Reply
  • IntelGuyF42
    Ocotillo has lots of great measures in place. OC23 wasn't built with space in mind for people so we are occasionally closer than we should be but overall its better than going to the grocery store. If Intel wants to improve, make the work from home option permanent. Call it part of an environmental improvement project for all those bad air days we keep getting emails about. I can control the tools just as well from home as I can in the office area or at a station controller and 99% of communication is by phone or email anyways.
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    Sounds like very minimal complaints to me. In a worldwide company not surprising to have grousers and ninnies spun up over the over-hyped China cold.

    At my workplace the same people complaining loudest when we had a mask shortage (requiring reuse and little management pressure to wear) are the same ones complaining now that we have to wear them 100% of the time strictly enforced.

    Some people aren't happy unless they are complaining.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    Who cares, honestly.


    I think COVID is so far overblown its not even funny.
    Reply
  • xxsk8er101xx
    NightHawkRMX said:
    Who cares, honestly.


    I think COVID is so far overblown its not even funny.

    I don’t understand how you can think Covid-19 is overblown when nobody knows anything about this virus. It’s a new virus. There’s no medicine that will help you. You clearly don’t know anyone that has suffered yet. You’re comment is ignorant on its face because no one knows. Literally no one knows. How that doesn’t terrify you is troubling or maybe you assume this virus won’t mutate and kill more people. 265,862 lives lost so far. That’s your grand mother, mother, sister, daughter... those numbers are people family and pain of a lost loved one who didn’t have to die.

    Two hundred sixty five thousand eight hundred sixty two lives lost. And you wanna say that is overblown is disgusting.

    which by the way if you’ve been infected already and lived you are now more vulnerable to this virus if you get it again because it mutates.

    I don’t care if I get band because these comments are ignorant.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Individual values and perspectives vary...

    Just under 300,000 currently out of 8 billion?
    That's under 4% of the world population. Some people will think it's overblown with numbers like that.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    I do in fact know someone a person (a coworker of a close family member) that tested positive COVID (let's call them steve). In addition, a person in direct contact with Steve had symptoms of COVID in January but was not tested and likely gave it to Steve. Chances are both had it though only one was confirmed, yet both are back to work and are at 100% health.

    The USA allows for doctors to mark anyone a COVID death that they THINK had COVID, even if every single test showed negative. This will negate the cases of COVID that were never tested.

    Since this outbreak started, the CDC shows the number of FLU deaths and pneumonia deaths has declined, indicating either fewer people arent getting these diseases or doctors are marking flu and pneumonia deaths as COVID in order to get more government funding. Likely a combination of both since people arent out as much to catch the flu, but there is much evidence of doctors falsely marking deaths as COVID in order to gain funding.

    Some local cases were someone that had kidney failure and contracted COVID. They went off of dialysis and died because of the kidneys, yet the doctors marked it as a COVID death, which it was not directly. I also heard of someone that had COVID and had a heart attack that they died from, but they marked the death as COVID, not a heart attack.

    Yes, it is far overblown.

    There should be precautions, however, the amount we have currently where I live is far excessive.
    Reply
  • Notsure101
    NightHawkRMX said:
    .

    None of what you said makes any sense. In the USA doctors don't mark cause of death. Cororanors and medical examiners do. Guidance is for hemodialysis to continue for those with covid. Flu decline followed its natural decline concurrently with the rise of covid-19. People don't die of flu or covid. They die of the pneumonia that results, highlighting you need to stop right there and listen to authorities and not some conspiracy blog.
    Reply
  • dmorisette
    Phaaze88 said:
    Individual values and perspectives vary...

    Just under 300,000 currently out of 8 billion?
    That's under 4% of the world population. Some people will think it's overblown with numbers like that.
    I think you lost a couple of zeroes somewhere- try 0.00375%
    Reply