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.
“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.”