Former factory workers urge public to sign Apple labor petition

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


Apple's trouble with factory assets in China has quickly become a conflagration, and two former Wintek employees stoked the flames on Wednesday when they offered their support of an online petition that will be delivered to Apple Stores across the nation.



In a translated statement, Guo Rui-Qiang and Jia Jing-Chuan are looking to raise the number of signatures on watchdog SumOfUs' petition to 100,000 by Thursday, which is by no coincidence the date of Apple's annual shareholders meeting, reports CNet.



"We believe it'd by symbolicly (sic) powerful if 100,000 people signed the petition before SumOfUs delivers it to Tim Cook," Guo and Jia wrote.



The pair's unified voice lends further gravity to the petition, as both were among the Wintek employees who experienced health issues after being exposed to n-hexane in 2009.



A fast-drying chemical agent, the now-banned n-hexane was used to clean iPhone screens in place of alcohol to speed up the manufacturing process at Wintek. Previous reports claim that at least 62 workers were hospitalized after being exposed to the toxic substance in 2009.



According to Wintek, those who suffered ailments related to n-hexane were given medical treatment, though the fiasco was the cause of a violent strike which was later settled with bonuses and a ban of the offending chemical.



Wintek was one of the first cases that brought working conditions at Apple's Chinese partner factories to the mainstream media.





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







"We have been pressuring Apple, and its new CEO Tim Cook, for years to compensate those of us who were injured working for them, and demanding reform of working conditions at their Chinese factories so that their workers don't suffer like we do," Guo and Jia said. "Now we need your help as customers or potential customers of Apple."



Earlier in February, SumOfUs delivered petitions from Change.org to select Apple Stores in order to raise awareness of the working conditions in the Chinese factories Apple uses to build its products.



SumOfUs and Change.org said that a recent supplier audit was initiated in response to their efforts, however those claims came well after a January report that noted Tim Cook had announced plans to partner with the Fair Labor Association to conduct the check.



The world's most valuable tech company has been under extreme scrutiny as of late over its use of Chinese labor, and Wednesday's announcement follows an investigation of a Foxconn factory from ABC's Nightline which showed that iPhone's are basically made by hand.



Apple has vowed to keep suppliers in check, and has released through its website monthly supplier reports, the company's code of conduct and a list of suppliers and manufacturers.



SumOfUs intends to deliver the petition in printed form on to numerous Apple Stores on Thursday in a "distributed" effort that involves "hundreds" of the organization's members.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,379member
    I'd sign a petition to improve workers' conditions in China as long as the petition didn't apply to Apple in any way whatsoever.
  • nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    ?Apple?s problem?... you mean, every electronics maker? The problem Apple?s doing more to solve than anyone?
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,379member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    “Apple’s problem”... you mean, every electronics maker? The problem Apple’s doing more to solve than anyone?



    "Every electronics maker"… you mean 'every single company that does business in China and much of the rest of southeast Asia'? The problem that… well, you get it.
  • slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,537member
    Another petition? Wow. Talk about attention-whoring.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I can see the need for a company like Apple to step up their game in proving conditions (as it could lead to increased profits) but I can't see why Apple is responsible as a customer to compensate those injured. How is Apple at fault here?



    (Mr. H, I would like to know your position on this.)
  • ochymingochyming Posts: 474member
    : Hello?

    : Tibet IS way WAY more important!!!

    : Hello, european governments are screaming - Help US China. Regardless of it being a dictatorship.





    : Globalization reached its peak with the enslavement of Africans in the americas.

    :It is getting better.
  • slinbergslinberg Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I'd sign a petition to improve workers' conditions in China as long as the petition didn't apply to Apple in any way whatsoever.



    That's bold.
  • absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I can see the need for a company like Apple to step up their game in proving conditions (as it could lead to increased profits) but I can't see why Apple is responsible as a customer to compensate those injured. How is Apple at fault here?



    (Mr. H, I would like to know your position on this.)



    Same reason Google is singled out for the safari and ie situations I suppose
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,714member
    They instead work for the contractor.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    Same reason Google is singled out for the safari and ie situations I suppose



    That makes absolutely no sense.
  • sambirasambira Posts: 90member
    100,000 is kind of weak when one considers the number of workers involved here. Even for just Apple's subs.
  • freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,343member
    Your beef is with your employer, not with Apple. I'll sign no such petition.
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,369member
    What's more powerful? 100,000 probable IPhone users signing a petition to make themselves feel better or 3 - 5 million iPhones being sold by China Telecom? The Chinese don't care about the conditions at Foxconn!
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freediverx View Post


    Your beef is with your employer, not with Apple. I'll sign no such petition.



    Speaking of beef. Lets say I'm at McDonald's. I order a Big Mac. While my sandwich is being made the McDonald's employee slips and fails. They then sue me because it was my sandwich they were making when they fell. Is that pretty much what this petition is suggesting?
  • mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,652member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I can see the need for a company like Apple to step up their game in proving conditions (as it could lead to increased profits) but I can't see why Apple is responsible as a customer to compensate those injured. How is Apple at fault here?



    (Mr. H, I would like to know your position on this.)



    My feeling is that it depends upon how involved Apple was in the setup of the production line. If they trusted Wintek to not expose workers to toxic chemicals that might have been naive but not a mistake that would warrant Apple having to pay damages. However, if Apple gave express permission or were otherwise closely involved in the decision to use n-hexane I think it becomes a different matter.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    My feeling is that it depends upon how involved Apple was in the setup of the production line. If they trusted Wintek to not expose workers to toxic chemicals that might have been naive but not a mistake that would warrant Apple having to pay damages. However, if Apple gave express permission or were otherwise closely involved in the decision to use n-hexane I think it becomes a different matter.



    I can see that but I wonder why the business would allow the customer to dictate such terms. Surely it does happen but I think that is far from being the most likely scenario.
  • lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,064member
    "Apple's trouble with factory assets in China has quickly become a conflagration"



    Bullshit click-bait. Mikey Campbell, you should be ashamed of yourself. Get real job because a journalist you ain't.
  • pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member
    [if you think someone's "trolling", don't feed them!]
  • sflocalsflocal Posts: 3,472member
    I'm all for workers rights regardless of where they are. What gets me all riled-up is that this is not an Apple problem, but a "China" problem.



    Petition China to improve working conditions of ALL factory workers. Why is it Apple's responsibility? This is a government-level issue.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    They instead work for the contractor.



    I didn't hire the gunman! My assistant did it for me!
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