Apple is the target of a new online grassroots campaign, as consumer accountability group SumOfUs has launched a new campaign calling on Apple to address dangerous conditions in factories manufacturing its products.
Last week, the “New YorkTimes” reported on abysmal conditions in Apple’s factories in China, including excessive overtime, poor living conditions, exposure to toxic chemicals, and violations of child labor standards. In response, SumOfUs launched a new petition yesterday, calling on members to urge Apple to address the concerns, with more than 35,000 people signing on within the first 24 hours.
”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,” says Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, executive director of SumOfUs. “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.”
Following the allegations of dangerous workplace conditions, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an email to Apple employees pledging to “dig deeper” on the issue, calling accusations that Apple doesn’t care about its workers “patently false and offensive” and giving his word that the matter would be addressed.
”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 chief operating officer; he needs to start taking responsibility, not blaming the messenger,” says Stinebrickner-Kauffman. “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.”
You can find the petition at http://sumofus.org/campaigns/ethical-iphone sumofus.org/campaigns/ethical-iphone .