updated 11:10 am EST, Thu February 23, 2012
Activist group continues 'ethical iPhone' theme
Activist organization SumOfUs is planning to protest supplier working conditions at Apple's annual shareholder meeting, being held today at the company's Cupertino headquarters, according to a press release. Demonstrators will rally outside of the event, while inside, two different actions are planned. SumOfUs says it will first deliver petitions demanding an "ethical iPhone;" during the event's Q&A session, the group says it will ask Apple CEO Tim Cook to end labor abuses in its supply chain.
The petitions total over 300,000 signatures, divided between 90,000 collected by SumOfUs, 200,000 from Change.org, and 30,000 from GetUp.org.au. SumOfUs calls the Fair Labor Association inspections a form of "whitewashing," and is demanding that Apple let "truly independent" NGOs inspect the factories of suppliers like Foxconn. SumOfUs accuses the FLA of being "funded and controlled by the corporations they’re supposed to monitor."
Another activist group, the Hong Kong-based Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, recently accused Foxconn of deliberately concealing the use of underage workers. The company has also been accused of offenses like paying minimal wages, demanding excessive amounts of overtime, and maintaining questionable safety.