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Protests against iPhone factory conditions planned Thursday for Apple Stores

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Still unhappy with Apple’s response to the New York Times’ series on labor conditions in Chinese factories that make iPhones and iPads, two organizations are planning a globally coordinated protest on Thursday. Representatives from and will deliver petitions to Apple stores in several major cities with the names of 250,000 people who want the iPhone maker to develop “a worker protection strategy” covering the people who build its devices in China.

The groups say they will deliver the petitions in person in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Fransisco, London, Sydney and Bangalore and will carry signs and leaflets.

The SumOfUs petition has more than 56,000 electronic signatures so far. According to the grassroots group, more than 35,000 of those signatures belong to people who say they are current Apple(s AAPL) customers — 20,000 of them are said to be iPhone owners. The number includes Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, SumOfUs’ executive director, who says she love her iPhone but doesn’t “love having to support sweatshops.”

In the press release she adds:

“Apple’s attention to detail is famous, and the only way they could fail to be aware of dozens of worker deaths, of child labor, of exposure to neurotoxins is through willful ignorance. That’s why our members are asking Apple to clean up its supply chains in time to make the iPhone 5 its first ethically produced product.”

Apple has said it cares about workers and says it’s doing all it can to improve conditions at factories like Foxconn’s. CEO Tim Cook wrote in an internal email to employees earlier this month, “We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us.”

But even if that is true, it doesn’t change the fact that some iPhone owners and other concerned citizens aren’t satisfied with the current status of those factories, how workers are treated and paid, and will do what they can to continue to make this an issue for Apple.

25 Responses to “Protests against iPhone factory conditions planned Thursday for Apple Stores”

  1. Allen Zhang

    Apple represents coolest, stylish, or elegant etc. more and more people have Apple products, also they have a huge number of fans all over the world. But behind this glory and success, how much we need to know about these Apple products and concern about the situation.
    About the labor problem in China, a lot of people blame on Apple, in my opinion, Apple has parts of responsibilities on this issue, but Foxconn to be responsible for this situation. Recently, I’m having communication ethic class, in the book Ethics in Human Communication says “The field of evolutionary ethics is one in which pro and con positions have emerged as to whether, or to what degree, scientific evidence demonstrates that our moral capacity is rooted in biological, genetic, or developmental evolution.” Apple has been working on the new technology, keeping improve our quality of life. And don’t forget Apple has been building the connection with us, humans, developing love for each other.
    Apple authorize Foxconn to be manufactured apple’s product, the owner of Foxconn should take this responsibility. Since Apple makes about 3,600 billion a year, I don’t think Foxconn is losing money every year, but as I know the average salary of the workers per month is about 200 US dollars. “To be human suggests that one’s conduct is guided by a respect for and tenderness toward others’ beings. It suggests a prizing of these beings and a desire to protect and nourish them” the textbook says.
    Hopeful Apple can pay enough attention on this issue, and respect the labors, come up a plan to protect them.

  2. The Gnome

    So you’re saying all the hipster ignorant hypocrites need more protests about issues they are completely clueless about are all showing up to protest? At least I’ll know what America’s dumbest people are doing on this day. What a bunch of sheep protesting with ignorance. Idiots!

  3. John R. Kirk

    Fact: China is a poor country.

    Fact: Foxconn, which make products for Apple and dozens of other companies, pays their employees 25% more than China’s national average.

    Fact: Fatalities at Foxconn are 80% lower than the US national average.

    Fact: Suicides at Foxconn are a tenth of the National Average in China.


    Fact: Thousands recently lined up to apply for jobs at Foxconn.


    Opinion: Economists estimate that the App Economy has created 466,000 new jobs.


    Opinion: These boycotters have it exactly backward. Apple is helping the very people who need help the most by providing them with high paying jobs.

    For an excellent overview of the economics involved, please see:

    • Sitanshu S.

      “Other people are doing it too!” – That’s hardly an excuse, if you meant that as an excuse for Apple. This excuse doesn’t work at home, school, with highway patrol, or anywhere.

      Anyway, the reason Apple is (and should be) targeted is that they are the biggest and most visible. It’s common sense to go after the big fish. see Al Capone, Alberto Contador, Marion Jones, Barry Bonds, Bernie Madoff, etc. It’s not that smaller (relatively speaking, of course) companies are not doing it, but targeting them will have a lesser impact.

      As the saying goes – “With great(er) power, comes greate(er) responsibility”

  4. Zhongkai Zhang

    The problem is Apple is so greedy. It has hugh profit margin, but don’t wsnt to share it with its supply chain. We knew everything made in CHina is cheaper, only except Apple.

    • Businesses don’t “share” profits with supply chains. Better to ask why the owner of Foxconn is a billionaire, no? Why doesn’t he pay his workers more? He surely can afford it.

  5. Zhongkai Zhang

    The problem is Apple is so greedy. It has hugh profit margin, but don’t wsnt to share it with its supply chain. We knew everything made in CHina is cheaper, only except Apple.

  6. I am sure those clueless misguided folks will also remove their clothes, shoes, jewelries, watches, sunglasses, belts, etc. and burn them in protest, they then give away their cars, stop eating fruits and vegetables, throw away their PCs, game consoles, flat screen tv’s, and pretty much all other household items. What a bunch of hypocrites!

    • Foxconn makes cars? Just because something is made in China or India or the U.S. (you included cars in your list), doesn’t mean it was made by workers under duress. I’d say you are the clueless, misguided one.

      • You’re aware that Foxconn treats its employees categorically better than competitor manufacturers in China, right? If you really cared you would indeed burn all of the products you own, because most of them are made in factories with much less oversight than Foxconn.

  7. Oh I get it, this way they can not feel guilty about owning an Iphone? Corporations only listen to one thing, the bottom line. If people continue to buy Iphones, despite worker cruelty, well guess what, worker cruelty will continue. Or maybe they’ll set up a local Iphone mfg to retail for a tad more in the states and continue selling slave labor produced products world wide, all while hoarding nearly $100,000,000,000.00 (yes 100 billion dollars).