SumOfUs Protests iPhone Factory Conditions at Apple Shareholder Meeting

Demonstrators from the activist group SumOfUs held protest signs outside of Apple’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday to protest the working conditions in the Chinese factories that make the iPhone and iPad.

Protestors hold signs outside Apple shareholder meetingProtesters hold signs outside Apple shareholder meeting

Image credit: Neal Pann

Along with protesters outside the meeting, the organization plans to present the company with a petition demanding what they call an “ethical iPhone” during the standard question and answer session. The group claims to have over 300,000 signatures from several rights groups.

Protesters were lined up along the street outside the Apple campus ahead of the 10AM pacific time meeting holding signs demanding better conditions for iPhone assembly line workers. Several demonstrators were holding signs stating “Stop iSweatshops,” and “iWant an ethical iPhone.”

Protestors standing outside Apple's headquartersProtestors standing outside Apple’s headquarters

Image credit: Bryan Chaffin

Apple previously accepted petitions from SumOfUs and at its Grand Central Terminal store in New York City. The groups have been protesting what they see as poor working conditions and pay for the Foxconn factory workers on the iPhone and iPad assembly lines.

ABC’s Nightline hosted a special report earlier this week where its news team followed inspectors through Foxconn’s iPad production line and interviewed workers. The special didn’t reveal anything new, although it did show what appeared to be better than average working conditions compared to other factory jobs in China.

More protestors outside Apple's campusMore protestors outside Apple’s campus

Image credit: Bryan Chaffin

The rights groups protesting Apple, however, don’t think the factory workers are being treated as well as it seems and wants to see the iPhone and iPad maker do more to protect workers. Apple has already agreed to participate in third-party factory inspections.

With the shareholder meeting just beginning, there isn’t any word yet on the protester’s activities inside the event.