China factory protest at Sydney Apple store Friday

Jonathan Stewart and David Price
9 February, 2012
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A 250,000 strong, online signature petition will be delivered to Apple’s George Street store in Sydney tomorrow, as part of a global campaign to protest against alleged worker abuses at a “factory in China where Apple products” are manufactured.

The wheelbarrow-delivered petition is to be held at the George St store at 8am tomorrow, and is being coordinated across the world, with Washington, New York, San Francisco, London and Bangalore organising similar protests.

A media release states that protesters are “demanding the company respond to recent criticisms of worker abuse in their supplier factories and commit to creating an ethical iPhone 5”.

As we reported last Friday, Mark Shields, a Washington communications consultant, started the petition after seeing media reports about working conditions in the Chinese factories, including those operated by Apple partner Foxconn Technology.

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. expects the protest group to consist of 20 people.

One Comment

One person was compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Tony says:

    Seeing as Apple is the only company, that I know of, that takes any interest in worker conditions at the companies that it does business with, and has some influence through its monitoring programs, I do not see that Apple should be their center of attention. Until they go after the worst offenders, or preferably the Chinese government, by holding their rallies outside the Chinese embassy then I will consider that they are just Apple haters (possibly supported by Samsung, the worst offender), who have no real interest in the working conditions of Chinese labour.

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