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MoveOn to Protest at Apple Thursday Morning

Demands for an "ethical, sweat-free iPhone" are among the calls from the civic action group.

A protest against “unethical working conditions in Apple’s factories” is being mobilized by a civic action and advocacy group to rally at Apple’s headquarters during the company’s shareholder meeting Thursday morning.

MoveOn and its members plan to be at Apple’s One Infinite Loop headquarters at 9 a.m. when the company will hold its shareholder meeting “to tell Apple that their consumers demand an ethical, sweat-free iPhone,” said an email message sent Wednesday by MoveOn.org.

Apple announced Feb. 13 that it was working with the Fair Labor Association to conduct voluntary audits of its suppliers, “including Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, at Apple’s request,” according to a press release.

Working conditions at Foxconn have been under scrutiny following reports of multiple suicides and poor working conditions.

“We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we’ve asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our larges suppliers,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO in a statement.

“The inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports.”

But MoveOn thinks Apple could, and should, do more. The nonprofit, working together with another group SumOfUs—a group which calls itself a “movement of consumers, workers and shareholders”—says it has gathered almost 90,000 petition signatures which they plan to hand-deliver at Thursday’s shareholder meeting. Email messages from the AFL-CIO were also being sent out to mobilize protestors.

“As the richest corporation in the world, Apple has the ability to change the manufacturing sector as much as iTunes changed music delivery. Or, they could do nothing and profit while workers die of exhaustion or preventable explosions,” an email message from Melanie G. a MoveOn member said.

“Without your voice and your pressure, Apple will take the easy way out and do nothing. Together, we can push Apple to take the sweat out of their iPhones. We need you to join us on Thursday at 9 a.m.”

Anne Ernst February 22, 2012 at 10:43 PM
MoveOn is mobilizing its troops to meet at 9 a.m. at One Infinite Loop
Mhikl Hez February 23, 2012 at 07:02 PM
So about 12 protesters out and about at shareholders meeting? This is news? Apple increasing wages and instituting better working conditions and labour rights, now that is news. I’m all in favour of human rights and protest. I’m also in favour of balance and Apple does seem to be doing a fair job at improving the situation, especially in contrast to other western companies in China. The nation of China has the gravest responsibility in these matters. It is doubtful that any nation has ever come out of poverty on anything other than the backs of it poorest people and that is where the problem in China lies today and at Chinese embassies is where the protests should be made.
Anne Ernst February 23, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Mhikl Hez: So are you saying that you don't think that it would be better if Apple chose to bring those jobs back to the U.S. or chose to give its business to a company that doesn't have these charges against it? Would it matter more to you if there were 1,200 or 12,000 protestors instead of 12?
Mhikl Hez February 23, 2012 at 07:37 PM
In a perfect world, Anne E, agree, agree, agree. In today's world, the cost of Apple going alone in bringing jobs back to the US while the other US companies stayed in Asia would be the end of Apple. The dollar counts to most Americans and Apple would lose its shirt. The number of protesters is irrelevant. Apple is not the only player in Foxconn but does seem to be the only one that is trying to make things better. I have no patience with ill conceived protest; they give a bad name and hurt protests that are actually meaningful. Moving from Foxconn is one alternative. It is always easier to run from a problem. Apple could set up all its own factories. Would take time but could be done. However, staying and helping change a little part of the world, Foxconn, could help set in motion the change that needs to help China become a better world player. No you do realise that the USA, as the UK didn't play fair to get where they are today. Only when they were powerful rulers did they then demand everyone else play fair, i.e., open markets etc. Complex problems demand study. Setting up an irrelevant protest is not the route to go. Thanks for responding. I like clarity. Namaste, mhikl
Mhikl Hez February 23, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Should have been: Now you do realise that the USA . . .

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