Recent coverage of the inhumane conditions at the Foxconn plant, where Apple manufactures its goods, has angered Apple customers enough to take action just short of denouncing their iProducts. Tomorrow at 10 a.m., a group of Apple-owning protesters will descend on New York City's new Grand Central Terminal store, hoping to convince Apple to enact a worker protection strategy. As Apple-philes, these groups don't want to have to get rid of their tech gadgets of choice. They'd prefer keep their iPhones and have Apple fix the system, instead.
This protest is a physical manifestation of online petitions from Change.org and Sum of Us, which together have gotten more than 250,000 signatures. Both outline the "appalling" conditions at Foxconn, asking Apple to move toward more ethical practices. Specifically, they want Apple to implement a worker protection program. From Change.org:
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.
They also want Apple to publish the results of the Fair Labor Association's monitoring of its suppliers, and to increase transparency and therefore accountability. Reasonable requests on behalf of humanity.
But most of all, these Apple-philes want to continue owning their beloved iThings with pride. "Please make these changes immediately, so that each of us can once again hold our heads high and say, 'I’m a Mac person,'" notes the Change.org petition. "I use an iPhone myself,” said Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, executive director of SumOfUs, in a press release via Business Insider. “I love it, but I don't love having to support sweatshops," she continued. "The hip, educated market that Apple aspires to corner is largely composed of responsible consumers who don’t want to be complicit in sweatshop labor."