AN ONLINE PETITION protesting the degrading working conditions in Apple's Chinese contractors' factories has been signed by more than 165,000 people.
The petition is live at Change.org and was created by Mark Shields after he heard about the appalling working conditions on This American Life, a US national public radio show. He was distraught to hear this about the widely admired US company and wants to see real changes.
Shields' petition letter says, "Just one example of the hardships there: the men and women in these factories work very long days spent repeating the same motions over and over, which creates amped-up carpal tunnel syndrome in their wrists and hands."
This could be easily overcome by rotating the workers that make Iphones and Ipads between different positions but this is not done, and there's no Chinese law to protect them. He said that in some cases workers have been driven to suicide, and this has been documented in news reports.
To correct the situation Shields' wants Apple to do two things to help the Apple workers and others in similar circumstances.
First, start a worker protection programme. "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," said Shields.
Second, he wants the fruit themed firm to publish the results of Fair Labour Association's monitoring. Those were announced after the This American Life radio show was aired, and should be publicised "including the NAMES of the suppliers found to have violations and WHAT those violations are, so that there is transparency around the monitoring effort," demanded Shields.
The petition is still gaining signatures at a high rate and is closing in on the 200,000 target. µ