SumOfUS.org removes false claim from Apple petition after collecting signatures

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2014


A petition drive run by SumOfUs.org, seeking to collect signatures prior to Apple's shareholder meeting today, has removed a primary claim it alleged against the company, substituting other deceptive wording after collecting tens of thousands of names with its original, very misleading allegations.



The original wording of petition that SumOfUs.org distributed described described "a young girl" who "spends those hours inhaling n-hexane, a potent neurotoxin used to clean iPhone glass, because it dries a few seconds faster than a safe alternative. After just a few years on the line, she will be fired because the neurological damage from the n-hexane and the repetitive stress injuries to her wrists and hands make her unable to continue performing up to standard," it said, in wording that continues to appear on the web.



The petition's claims that suggested Apple requires workers to use the toxic chemical n-hexane to clean iPhone screens because it is "faster than a safe alternative" were actually derived from Apple's own Supplier Responsibility report, which in reality documented action the company took to stop the use of the chemical last year.





SumOfUs looks to deliver 90,000-100,000 names on a Chinese labor rights petition to Apple Stores on Thursday. Source: SumOfUs







Wintek, the company that had used it, ended up paying workers for serious damages they suffered after violent riots broke out in protest over the issue.



Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, an executive director of SumOfUs.org, stated in a press release today that “Apple has a moral obligation to fully compensate workers like Guo Rui-Qiang and Jia Jing-Chuan" who were exposed to the chemical by Wintek, and said Apple had "to take the hard steps required make sure that tragedies like this never happen again,” despite Apple's published report documenting that it had already required Wintek to take preventive action.



Apple noted in its public report earlier this year that "we required the facility to discontinue use of n-hexane, to fix the factory’s ventilation systems, and to implement improvements to their management systems for Environmental Health and Safety."



After collecting tens of thousands of signatures, SumOfUs.org quietly changed the wording of the petition to read that the young worker "spends those hours inhaling isopropanol, a toxin used to clean iPhone glass. After just a few years on the line, she will be fired because the repetitive stress injuries to her wrists and hands have made them useless." (Emphasis theirs).



The petition not only drops alleged claims of the continued use of n-hexane, but substitutes "isopropanol," which it describes as a "toxin," despite it actually being the chemical name of common "rubbing alcohol," something that American parents commonly use to sterilize the ear piercings of their young children.



Alcohol was also the "safer alternative" that SumOfUs implied Apple refused to use to save time at the expense of worker's health. The petition continues to state that repetitive stress injuries alone would cause a worker to left with "useless" hands and wrists, a claim originally tied to toxic exposure with n-hexane, which actually can cause neurological damage.



SumOfUs.org has advertised efforts to organize a protest at the Apple campus this morning, asking for "visuals" to include "Apple consumers dressed as iPhones, with Apple products and posters echoing Apple’s taglines (e.g., 'iWant An Ethical iPhone')."



SumOfUs.org is coordinating its campaign with Mark Shields, who portrays himself as a concerned Apple customer but who is actually a director at the Washington DC based Spitfire Strategies, "a consulting firm offering advice on strategic communications and campaign planning for a wide range of non-profits and foundations," which describes itself as "dedicated to helping nonprofits and foundations create and implement high impact communications programs to achieve their social change goals."



Rather than focusing on n-hexane, Shields' independent petition, run by Change.org, demands that Apple "release a worker protection strategy for new product releases," alleging that the company's product scheduling results in spikes of repetitive stress injuries and suicides, despite being unable to offer any data to back up the claims.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    These petitions are not about any concrete attempts to change anything at all. They are just about making North Americans feel less guilty about their lifestyle, or superior to their neighbours who perhaps haven't signed them. They are absolutely idiotic on many levels.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,471member
    Sounds like macosrumors rewriting what they posted every time a new Apple product is released because they were lying through their teeth the entire time.
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 3,998member
    I am surprised that glass is cleaned by hand. It seems this is a simple task that a machine could do faster and better without repetitive strain.
  • slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,390member
    Disgusting. Where is the 'ethics' in changing the contents of a petition after they've been signed? Isn't that like, illegal? And isopropanol is now a 'toxic substance'? I inhaled that stuff for YEARS in my university labs, can I get a petition too? At my protest I want people dressed up as kangaroos and koalas though.
  • jakebjakeb Posts: 473member
    Isopropanol sounds much scarier than rubbing alcohol.
  • mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,649member, moderator
    It's difficult to put into words how unethical SumOfUs.org's actions are. It really is outrageous.



    I also haven't seen anywhere an analysis of SumOfUs.org's central claims that allude to the toxicity of n-hexane. They make it sound like some of the most evil stuff on earth and that only a maniac would make anyone work with it.



    However, according to wikipedia, n-hexane is usually considered "non-toxic"; it is long term exposure to high levels of n-hexane that is the problem. A bit like how drinking too much water can in fact kill you; does that mean that nobody should have to work with water on a production line? It's possible that n-hexane could be used if adequate protection were provided but it's probably cheaper just to use a less toxic substitute, which Wintek has now done.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    I hope Apple sues them into oblivion.
  • davewritedavewrite Posts: 57member
    sumofus is just crap.



    their websites states they base their petitions on 'news reports'. News reports!

    Like their first anti apple petition was based on the notorious NYT anti apple hit piece, the article which 'sources' immediately wrote open letters to the paper to refute statements attributed to them.



    They made all kinds of statements like child slaves in Foxconn etc and then when the FLA stated that the factory is better than the norm and ABC finds no children working there they start an anti FLA anti ABC smear campaign.



    Their 'poison killing workes' now found to be rubbing alcohol is another indication of their crap.



    They are hit whores who highlight apple as hiting Apple gets them publicity and it's good for their business and it is a 'business'-- 'Donate' on the website is as prominent as 'Petition'. PCs had 90% market share for years in the same or (according to the Chinese themselves) worse factories than Apple's. Go try to find Lenovo's audit disclosures. Where's sumofus dozens of petitons against Acer, Asus , Dell etc. ?



    somebody should start an organization to petition against people like SumofUs.
  • ka47ka47 Posts: 25member
    Screw SumofThem.
  • drfreemandrfreeman Posts: 111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    I am surprised that glass is cleaned by hand. It seems this is a simple task that a machine could do faster and better without repetitive strain.



    I think it all goes down to cost! It may be cheaper to hire someone to do it than to invest in a robot and electricity etc. This also may have the effect of having to change the manufacturing line somewhere up or down the line to have more robots and the list goes on.



    I think if they start modernising the manufacturing line, then they could lose their edge over other countries like Brazil.



    Saying that, I agree with you! We need more automation on the line
  • tedktedk Posts: 16member
    Jeez, I used to enjoy AppleInsider, but their continuing inability to proofread anything they post really is bugging the crap outa me! Is it that hard to go over yr own words?!!
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,028member
    If they changed the wording then all the original signatures should be null and void, period!
  • tzeshantzeshan Posts: 894member
    These are the NGOs. People are working for ngos as a career. They prey on many idiots and uninformed people among us. They will attack any government, company, or nation. Egypt has noticed this and taking action toward the ngos. But any weaker government, company, or nation many crumple because of them. The stronger will survive like US. This is why US welcomes ngos. Unfortunately this time they choose to attack Apple. They do not know Apple is different than any other government, company, or nation. And this is why Apple has become the most valuable company. Many people are scratching their head and could not understand. I think Apple will make the ngos suffers their biggest setback this time.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jakeb View Post


    Isopropanol sounds much scarier than rubbing alcohol.



    Thousands of people die of overexposure to dihydrous monoxide every year. Thousands more die of underexposure to dihydrous monoxide every year.



    WHY ISN'T ANYONE SPEAKING UP AGAINST THIS?!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KA47 View Post


    Screw SumofThem.



    I say screw all of them.



    *ducks*



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    If they changed the wording then all the original signatures should be null and void, period!



    Indeed.
  • nexttechnocratinexttechnocrati Posts: 74member
    Funded by the left wing groups out to destroy successful american companies. All they need is publicity which will work out well for Apple AND not for them. These bums are losers with nothing better to do.
  • sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    These petitions are not about any concrete attempts to change anything at all. They are just about making North Americans feel less guilty about their lifestyle, or superior to their neighbours who perhaps haven't signed them. They are absolutely idiotic on many levels.



    Agree. And maybe there's more than just a little whiff of cultural imperialism as well.

    As in "We're Westerners. We want Chinese to be more like us."
  • swissmac2swissmac2 Posts: 216member
    This is what happens as a result of society allowing negative campaigning in election campaigns - the people employed during the election cycle to sensationalise and spread mistruths and half truths then look for ways to apply their dishonest methods to other sectors. In the UK they earned a lot of money during the recent AV referendum campaign. Before that in the Conservatives election campaign. In the US though, this reaches a new low of lies and slander that someone should sue them for. TBH there should be a prison sentence for publishing lies.
  • pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    It's difficult to put into words how unethical SumOfUs.org's actions are. It really is outrageous.



    I also haven't seen anywhere an analysis of SumOfUs.org's central claims that allude to the toxicity of n-hexane. They make it sound like some of the most evil stuff on earth and that only a maniac would make anyone work with it.



    However, according to wikipedia, n-hexane is usually considered "non-toxic"; it is long term exposure to high levels of n-hexane that is the problem. A bit like how drinking too much water can in fact kill you; does that mean that nobody should have to work with water on a production line? It's possible that n-hexane could be used if adequate protection were provided but it's probably cheaper just to use a less toxic substitute, which Wintek has now done.



    I remember doing a study in junior high science class about the devastating affects of "dihydrogen monoxide" and how it kills so many people each year and is used as a solvent despite not being regulated.



    Funny how you can make anything sound bad and dangerous. Had a good laugh after we drank a glass full of the "deadly dihydrogen monoxide".
  • reinhardenreinharden Posts: 10member
    ...at the end of all of this that either Google or Samsung is actually funding these protest efforts.



    I like to hope that it's Samsung and not Google.





    Maybe we should start a petition to ask Samsung to stop? ;-)



    reinharden
  • bsgincbsginc Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    If they changed the wording then all the original signatures should be null and void, period!



    This is why one should never, ever sign any form of electronic or on-line petition. Your signature can be used anywhere. (When a person signs a multi-page legal document, the sign and date the final page. They also initial and date all the pages before it. Any corrections are also initialed.)
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