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Activists deliver petitions to Apple Stores

We reported yesterday that 250,000 people had signed petitions to try and force Apple to help improve working conditions in partner factories in the Far East. Activists delivered the petitions to Apple’s Grand Central Terminal flagship store in Manhattan today. CNET were on hand to report.

Activist and Change.org director Shelby Knox said she was dressed as an 'ethical iPhone.' The phone's ethics weren't apparent in the costume. (Credit: Roger Cheng/CNET)

The watchdog groups SumofUS and Change.org gathered a quarter of a million signatures, calling for Apple to pressure their partners to improve the working conditions in factories in China. They want the same standards in these factories as achieved in the US.

Apple say they are working hard to improve the situation “We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. We insist that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made. Our suppliers must live up to these requirements if they want to keep doing business with Apple.”

Apple have even set up a site to report on ‘supplier responsibility’.

CNET reported “The crowd of actual activists here was small, with a little more than a dozen supporters–far outstripped by the mass of media on the scene. The delivery, however, was part of a global effort that included petitions sent to stores in Bangalore, London, and Sydney. Activists are scheduled to deliver petitions to the San Francisco flagship store later today, according to Sarah Ryan, an organizer for Change.org.

Ryan downplayed the smaller crowd, noting that the intent was to hand-deliver the petitions. Ryan appeared with Change.org Director Shelby Knox, who said she was dressed as an “ethical iPhone,” and a number of other activists, and walked up the steps to the store flanked by a throng of cameramen and reporters. Once at the entrance, Ryan delivered the box of petitions to an Apple employee, who accepted the box but declined to comment.

“Apple was definitely ready for us,” Ryan said. “They were very polite. Hopefully, they understand the magnitude of the signatures.”

Kitguru says: There are many other businesses that use the same factories, but due to their high profile, Apple are seen as the company who can make a change.

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