A lot of heat was unleashed on Apple when New York Times reported about the poor labour conditions in the facilities of Apple’s manufacturers. Some portions of the article claimed that Apple was well aware of these. While no official Apple response has come, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO did write to Apple employees telling them that these claims were not true. But this is not to thwart human rights activists. A watchdog group SumOfUs has filed a petition asking Apple to improve labour conditions in it’s manufacturer’s facilities.
According to the group who filed the petition, it has gathered about 35,000 signatures within 24 hours. The petition specifically asks Apple to take care of it’s employees overseas and ensure their rights before it launches an iPhone 5. Hence the demand for an ‘ethical’ iPhone 5. The text of the petition reads thus,
“Can Apple do this? Absolutely. Apple is the richest company in the world, posting a profit margin for the last quarter of 42.4% yesterday. They’re sitting on $100 billion in the bank. According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in the New York Times, all Apple has to do is demand it, and it’ll happen – “Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.”
The executive director of SumOfUs said that Tim Cook was formerly responsible for Apple’s supply chain management and he knows well about all the details of the supply chain. And so, rather than fending off criticism, he should step up and correct the wrongs. Whether or not this petition will strike a chord with Apple depends on the overall number of signatures it garners, and with the statistics of the first 24 hours, the prospects seem very promising.
Image courtesy: SumOfUs