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Foxconn factory in China  (Source: and are the two groups leading the demonstrations

Social activist groups are protesting and partaking in demonstrations today at several Apple stores around the globe in order to challenge the treatment of employees at Apple's suppliers in China. and are two social activist groups offering demonstrations at key Apple stores around the world, such as New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, Sydney, London and Bangalore. Both groups have offered online petitions against the abusive treatment of employees at Apple's suppliers in China, where was able to obtain 200,000 signatures and was able to obtain 50,000 signatures.'s petition specifically asks that Apple find a way to employ worker protection, especially around major product releases when workers are pushed to the max. The petition also requests that Apple be more open and frank about findings from the Fair Labor Association, which will be monitoring Apple's supplier's factories.'s petition simply asked for a more "ethical iPhone," where employees are treated like people instead of machines.

"This is a really huge step for us, in combining all of the voices we've collected from people all over the world asking Apple to clean up their supply chain," said Sarah Ryan,'s human rights organizer.

Last month, The New York Times shed light on the poor treatment of employees working for Apple suppliers in Asia like Foxconn and Wintek. The report, which is the second installment of the iEconomy series, details horrible working conditions workers must endure at Apple supplier factories in China. For instance, many employees work over 60 hours per week, at about 12 hours per day and six days per week. They put in obscene amounts of overtime as well. When the shift is over, employees are crammed into tiny dorms, where as many as 20 people are shoved into a three-bedroom apartment.

Right after The New York Times report was released, Apple CEO Tim Cook fired back about the claims of worker abuse in China, denying that Apple doesn't care about the people who work long hours to make the company's products on time.

"As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values," said Cook in an email to Apple employees. "Unfortunately, some people are questioning Apple's values today, and I'd like to address this with you directly. 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. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It's not who we are."

Ryan expects about 40 people to join the demonstration in Manhattan alone today. The protest will begin at 10 a.m.

"What we want is for Apple to take their motto -- 'think differently' -- and extend that to the way they treat their workers," said Ryan. "We want them to be a leader in the tech world in not just treating their workers in the United States fairly, but also treat the ones abroad fairly."

Source: CNN

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RE: .
By tayb on 2/9/2012 1:52:14 PM , Rating: 1
Foxconn manufacturers products for dozens of tech companies. You will be extremely hard pressed to buy a cell phone or any computer without some part touching a Foxconn factory. The notion that Apple is behind this abuse of labor is just ridiculous. They are involved, for sure, but so are companies such as HP, Toshiba, Dell, etc. Apple doesn't employ these people, Foxconn does. You think it is fair for the employees working at the Apple factory to receive higher wages while the rest of the factory workers continue to suffer? Epic idea.

You have fallen for sensationalist journalism. They always mention Apple because Apple grabs headlines.

RE: .
By V-Money on 2/9/2012 2:20:11 PM , Rating: 4
I think you're missing the point, the reason people focus on Apple is because of their huge profit margins. People love cheap products (price wise), and even though none of us want (to think about)effective slave labor, we also don't want to pay higher prices. For certain items it can be worth paying more since the quality is better, like cutco knives or snapon tools, but they are also made in different places then their competition. Since as you mentioned mostly everyone has their products created by Foxconn, they only cost more because Apple charges more. In essence to get people to stop singling out Apple they would either need to up their standards relative to competition, or charge less.

RE: .
By tayb on 2/9/12, Rating: 0
RE: .
By B3an on 2/9/2012 3:07:42 PM , Rating: 3
More people at Foxconn are working on Apple devices than with pretty much any other company who use Foxconn. I wouldn't be surprised if these workers are also pushed harder to meet deadlines for Apples new toys.

And it's not silly to single out Apple because they make such high profit margins. They could use some of that money to ensure better working conditions, like any decent company would do.

RE: .
By someguy123 on 2/9/2012 4:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
They're being singled out because their profit margins indicate they could contract the workers at higher salaries/improve working conditions at apple contracted foxconn factories without hurting their profits too substantially. Meanwhile other companies working with foxconn are running at similar thin margins.

Basically they're not in a position where they can blame sales. Other companies barely breaking even are slightly more excusable since they wouldn't be able to sustain production otherwise.

RE: .
By TSS on 2/9/2012 11:55:55 PM , Rating: 2
I just read today that apple's market value is bigger then microsoft and google COMBINED.

It's no longer about the margins. They have more money then scrooge mcduck. It's time they stopped being as stingy as him.

That there's practical slave labor in china, big deal. The working conditions now are already much better then they where 30 years ago. At some point, the chinese themselves won't tolerate this anymore, just like we got labor-laws here in europe around the 1900's (there where NO child protection laws before that and they died on the workfloor on a regular basis) simply because the people where sick of it and it was no longer needed.

Apple obviously no longer needs to use such bare-minimum working conditions because they can afford better. That's why they are targetted. And rightfully so.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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