Apple Chinese factory petition gathers 162,000 signatures in a week

Macworld Australia Staff
3 February, 2012
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An online petition asking Apple to protect the Chinese workers who make its popular products has gathered more than 162,000 signatures in just over a week.

The petition, at, is a response to recent media reports alleging poor working conditions at factories operated by Chinese companies that have contracts to build iPhones, iPads and other popular Apple products.

Mark Shields, a Washington communications consultant, started the petition after hearing about working conditions in the Chinese factories, including those operated by Apple partner Foxconn Technology, in the media.

The reports talked about repetitive motion injuries and other problems at Apple partner factories, Shields wrote in his petition.

“We ask that Apple release a worker protection strategy for new product releases, which are the instances when injuries and suicides typically spike because of the incredible pressure to meet quotas timed to releases,” he wrote.

Shields described himself as an Apple ‘super-user’, but said the report upset him.

“Here’s the thing: you’re Apple,” he wrote in the petition. “You’re supposed to think different. I want to continue to use and love the products you make, because they’re changing the world and have already changed my life. But I also want to know that when I buy products from you, it’s not at the cost of horrible human suffering.”

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comments on the petition.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was reportedly “outraged” by a recent New York Times report on the issue. Cook promised in a letter to Apple employees to “dig deeper” into allegations of poor working conditions at the Chinese factories.

Shields’ campaign has been “remarkable,” says Amanda Kloer, director of organising for, a site that allows users to start petitions.

“He learned about an injustice associated with his favourite products and instead of just feeling angry or sad, he decided to fight that injustice using his power as a consumer,” she says. “It has been incredible to watch his campaign take off.”




5 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. pmoe says:

    I think it’s rubbish.
    People are targeting one company among many just because they make a lot more profit than all of the other companies that are using the same workers.
    Why isn’t and others doing something about forcing wealthy citizens in the USA to pay their fair share of taxes and reduce their own debt.

  2. Ken Hoyle says:

    Why pick on just Apple?
    What about all the other manufacturers that use Chines suppliers?

  3. Geoffrey G says:

    Yes but what would happen if China conducted the same about Manufactures in the USA? Also, where do you think all the other mobile phone companies get their phones made? and I don’t see them having been questioned about this issue.

  4. Hermann Weber says:

    Sure, But why pick on Apple?
    Direct it at the Chinese Government.

  5. Ronel says:

    It’s easy to sign a petition, but much harder to actually do something about it.

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