A leukaemia victim is calling for an improvement in working conditions at the Johnson Electric-owned Shenzhen factory he used to work in as he believes the harmful chemicals he was exposed to caused his illness. "I worked in an enclosed environment for 11 hours a day and we were exposed to rust oil, thinner and other unknown chemicals," said Zou Xouhua, 30, who worked in car-motor production factory Hwa Sun (Guangdong) for 18 months until he was diagnosed with leukaemia in June last year after fainting at work. READ MORE: Activist investors turn up the heat The father of two children, aged four and six, used to earn 3,000 yuan (HK$3,644) a month and now spends the same for each chemotherapy treatment. His wife, who also worked in the factory, was fired in September last year as she took leave to care for her husband. "Two other colleagues were also diagnosed with leukaemia," Zou said. "I hope the company will support us and improve conditions." A Johnson Electric spokesman said: "Johnson Electric is aware of a health-related claim made by an employee, and we are awaiting the relevant Chinese authorities’ decision on the employee’s second appeal as to whether the case is work-related. The Company is committed to its responsibility to comply with the laws and regulations wherever we do business." Chan Ka-wai, executive director of NGO Labour Action China, pointed out there were no laws requiring Hong Kong-listed companies to disclose the working environment of their mainland businesses. In light of Zou's plight, the Confederation of Trade Unions urged the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to strengthen the environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure requirements of companies listed in the city, to enhance transparency on worker conditions. A consultation for proposed changes to HKEx's ESG guide ends today. "The proposed guide only asks companies to 'comply [with standards] or explain', which will not be effective in getting information disclosed," said Mung Siu-tat, chief executive of the confederation. "Unless laws are set and punishments are given to companies that do not comply with the disclosure requirements, the guide will remain a toothless tiger." "When we first introduced the guide it was intended to be the first step in an evolutionary process, with the longer term goal of achieving better and more comprehensive ESG reporting among our issuers," said David Graham, HKEx's chief regulatory officer. "We believe that strengthening … disclosure obligations will enhance the quality, sustainability and reputation of our market."