As promised, a group of activists handed over petitions concerned with workers’ rights to the Apple store in New York’s Grand Central Terminal. The petitions were organized by SumofUS and Change.org and represented 250,000 signatures.
The Apple store employees seemed well prepared to accept the documents. Apple Insider reported that the media people present outnumbered the dozen or so activists involved in the hand-over. This gesture is slated to be repeated at the San Francisco store later today, and perhaps London, Sydney, and Bangalore as well.
Change.org activists handing over petitions to Apple store employees in New York (credit Roger Cheng, CNET)
The petition sponsored by Change.org seems to have been prompted by a story from National Public Radio’s This American Life show. That show explored the working conditions at Foxconn factories in China where iPhones are manufactured.
The petition did not call for a boycott of Apple products, but instead it had two requests: 1) “that Apple release a worker protection strategy for new product releases,” and 2) that Apple publish the results of the Fair Labor Association’s monitoring of its suppliers.
The second request should be pretty easy to comply with as it’s the FLA that publishes its findings, not Apple. The merit of the first request will be for Apple and Foxconn to decide.
Apple is only one of several US companies that employ Foxconn and its workers to build its products, but the petitioners used Apple’s own words from the the Think Different campaign against it: “The people who think they [sic] are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”