A small number of protesters showed up at Apple stores today to deliver petitions that were gathered online. The petitions demanded that Apple improve worker rights and safety at its supplier’s plants.
Apple has been under fire after the New York Times published an exposé detailing the plight of workers at Chinese manufacturing plants in Apple’s supply chain. According to the New York Times, there have been injuries, deaths, suicides, and intolerable working conditions during the making of Apple products.
The online petition drives were initiated at Change.org and SumOfUs.org. According to organizers, over a quarter million online signatures were gathered. The signatures were delivered to several Apple stores around the world today.
Yesterday we reported that we were unable to find much buzz online in support of actual, physical, protests at Apple stores. Our expectations that the protests would be lightly attended bore out. Wired.com said the protests at Apple stores in New York and San Francisco were more like publicity stunts than actual protests.
While Apple has taken the brunt of the blame, the companies in Apple’s manufacturing chain also supply products for many other electronics companies, including Dell, HP, Nokia and Sony. Apple has not responded publicly to the blame or the petition drive. However, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, wrote a letter to employees saying that Apple has and never will “turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain,” and “… we’ve made a great deal of progress and improved conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers. We know of no one in our industry doing as much as we are, in as many places, touching as many people.”