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Apple customers to protest for better worker conditions

Apple customers will walk into their HQ and Apple stores in London, Sydney, Bangalore, Washington DC, New York and San Francisco to protest for better working conditions for those people in the Far East who build their products.

Apple have been in the spotlight lately as one of the major partners who work with Chinese companies who have horrendous working conditions in their factories. Over 250,000 people have signed petitions protesting against the working conditions. The signatures were gathered by change.org and SumOfUs.org.

The protestors will make an impact by flooding into retail stores. Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, executive director of SumofUs said “I use an iPhone myself. I love it, but I don’t love having to support sweatshops, and neither do millions of other Apple consumers. The hip, educated market that Apple aspires to corner is largely composed of responsible consumers who don’t want to be complicit in sweatshop labor. 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.”

Sweatshop? Image at Foxconn Factory in Shenzen, China

There have been many stories published already about the appalling working conditions in manufacturer factories, including Foxconn. Some young people are working 16 hour days, for 70 cents an hour.

New Apple CEO Tim Cook has been keen to state that Apple care about the workers in the supply chain and has said he will look deeper into the allegations and concerns. He added that Apple have the Fair Labor Association monitoring their supplies with the goal of improving the conditions worldwide.

Stinebrickner-Kauffman added “If Tim Cook is really offended by these allegations, why isn’t he doing anything to fix the problems? This is the supply chain he set up as COO — he needs to start taking responsibility, not blaming the messenger, Every time a Foxconn worker is killed or disabled making an Apple product, Mr. Cook bears personal moral responsibility. Apple’s enforcement of razor-thin profit margins at suppliers invites – and may even force – them to slash workers’ rights. But Apple is going to have much bigger longer-term problems than paying a few extra dollars for its products if it loses its luster with ethical consumers.”

Kitguru says: Apple are not solely responsible for this as other companies use the same factories, but unfortunately for Tim Cook, they are the highest profile, so seem to be taking the blame.

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