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Foxconn factory in China  (Source: msn.com)
Change.org and SumOfUs.org 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.

Change.org and SumOfUs.org 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 Change.org was able to obtain 200,000 signatures and SumOfUs.org was able to obtain 50,000 signatures.

Change.org'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.

SumOfUs.org'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, Change.org'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 2:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are grossly overestimating the amount of pull Apple has over labor conditions. Outside of pulling out of the factory and China entirely nothing you said is practical. I doubt that China nor Foxconn would allow labor policies to be dictated by a foreign customer.

We aren't treating these people badly. Foxconn is. They aren't Apple employees.


RE: .
By drycrust3 on 2/9/2012 5:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Outside of pulling out of the factory and China entirely nothing you said is practical.

Having penalty clauses in contracts is entirely normal. For example, Apple will have quality control standards in their contract with Foxconn. No one says "Quality control standards aren't Apple's business" do they! No one says "It isn't practical for ALL iPads work when the new owner opens the box" do they? If you opened the box of a brand new iPad you wouldn't find a scratch on it or it not work would you? No! Why? Because Apple dictated quality control standards with PENALTY CLAUSES to Foxconn! Get it? Apple told Foxconn the quality standards or ELSE PAY US ... and low and behold iPads all work and are made without scratches.
The same applies with employee mistreatment. When Apple puts out tenders for the manufacture of iPads they could easily include the standards expected for employee treatment. The fact is they COULD do that and achieve those conditions. We know they COULD achieve them because Foxconn already achieves quality control standards, which are much harder to achieve than treating people right is.
As I said, if Foxconn was told they have to pay $1000 per hour to every employee that worked for more than 12 hours, then you can bet that not one employee would work more than 11:59 minutes.


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