Apple protesters to hold rally in New York Thursday

There's been a lot more talk lately about how factories that make products for companies like Apple are treating its workers. On Thursday two groups, Change.org and SomeOfUs, plan to hold a rally at Apple's recently launched Grand Central Station store in New York City to express their views on the alleged poor working conditions at those factories, including plants owned by Foxconn.

The groups plan to present a digital petition that's been signed by 250,000 people to Apple representatives. The petition basically asks that Apple ask the factories that create its product to make a better work place for the factories' employees. The petition letter states in part:

Here’s the thing: you’re Apple. You’re supposed to think different. I want to continue to use and love the products you make, because they’re changing the world, and have already changed my life. But I also want to know that when I buy products from you, it’s not at the cost of horrible human suffering.

In 2010, a number of Foxconn employees in China committed suicide at work as reports came in of poor working conditions and low pay at those plants. Foxconn reportedly made Foxconn workers sign anti-suicide contracts in 2011. In January, Apple released its annual supplier responsibility report. As part of its report, the company said it conducted a total of 227 audits of its suppliers in 2011. However the report said Apple stopped working with just one supplier of parts in 2011, which the company said was a "repeat offender" of its rules.

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pickypg said,
I would probably point that finger toward Walmart. And it is ruining every nation that depends on such tactics.

One thing that everyone also tends to dismiss is that some people are willing to pay for a little extra quality, as well as local support.

I own a couple desktops (all homemade PCs), but my one notebook is a MacBook Pro, and I would have actually been willing to pay an extra $100 or more just to have it made in America. And I bought it because Apple has rock-solid support, with actual native English speakers answering the phone.

Now, I don't say that as some sort of claim that I wouldn't back up. I refuse to buy Dell and HP (except printers) products because they refuse to stand by them. However, your article suggests that it is impossible to bring those types of jobs back to America.

Apple has $93 Billion sitting in the bank; at least half of it is probably overseas due to taxes that are incurred when bringing corporate money into the US (something on the order of 30%). They could easily take a hit in their profit margins and still remain a top company by bringing some of those manufacturing jobs back to America.

I will never be convinced that we cannot at least put the same quality into the equipment as those overseas, if not more. Years ago, I really never saw the incentive for Chinese workers to put serious quality into their work because they would never even see the final product in their own cities. That is changing now, but not by much.

Raise the price if you need to do it. But I bet American workers (non-Union, sorry) would jump at such jobs, even in the range of just above minimum wage, assuming it doesn't arbitrarily go up again.

Capitalism is about profits, plain and simple, but it is also a long term game. If your entire nation goes under because it loses the skills necessary to compete on a certain level, then your money won't really mean much at all.

$100 more? Way too small a jump. Foxcomm pays about $0.70 an hour last I heard. MBP's start at $1249 CDN, so $100 more is only about 8% more price. You think North American workers would accept $0.75 an hour, or even 10 TIMES that?

To think the price wouldn't double or more is naive I think. How many would accept that?

Wow so what? This is what happens so we can get products at a cheaper price. Not our fault that the Government of China allows this to happen. Would anybody want to buy an iPhone for $1500 full price? Not saying that it would be that much but seriously things like this need to happen.

ILikeTobacco said,

And every other device on the market.

Most of the iSheep will pay whatever the cost. It'll make them creative and efficient. You can't put a price tag on that!

Foxconn chips aren't inside everything. Part of the reason I use HTC products.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn

VoX said,

Most of the iSheep will pay whatever the cost. It'll make them creative and efficient. You can't put a price tag on that!

Foxconn chips aren't inside everything. Part of the reason I use HTC products.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn

HTC, who uses Android, which makes money for Google, which helps them develop Android, so it runs great on more devices, including none HTC devices, which are made by Foxconn, thus still helping this issue continue. If HTC was in anyway against what happens in these factories, it wouldn't do business with Android. Sorry, HTC is just as guilty. Also, Foxconn is singled out. It is no different than other companies which HTC does use. You are not as noble as you think you are.

ILikeTobacco said,

HTC, who uses Android, which makes money for Google, which helps them develop Android, so it runs great on more devices, including none HTC devices, which are made by Foxconn, thus still helping this issue continue. If HTC was in anyway against what happens in these factories, it wouldn't do business with Android. Sorry, HTC is just as guilty. Also, Foxconn is singled out. It is no different than other companies which HTC does use. You are not as noble as you think you are.

Exactly. This is a widespread problem that more companies than we (or at least the protesters) are aware of. Or maybe they aren't. Apple's knack for being in the public eye makes them a very easy target and therefore will get them more attention than if they protested someone else.

xXgreatestever said,
Would anybody want to buy an iPhone for $1500 full price?

Considering the actual value of an iPhone they could easily double or tripple the payment of every single worker without even having the need to increase the price of the iPhone (or any [Apple] product by the way)…

ILikeTobacco said,

HTC, who uses Android, which makes money for Google, which helps them develop Android, so it runs great on more devices, including none HTC devices, which are made by Foxconn, thus still helping this issue continue. If HTC was in anyway against what happens in these factories, it wouldn't do business with Android. Sorry, HTC is just as guilty. Also, Foxconn is singled out. It is no different than other companies which HTC does use. You are not as noble as you think you are.

You are saying gov. help building the society for the people but the society help the criminal to live in also and that's why gov. is responsible for those criminal and we should blame gov. for helping to create the society?

HTC also make Phone for other OS. And, HTC pay almost nothing to google for Android. It's almost FREE. Well that's not the point. HTC as a company is aware of it and do something to avoid using these chips. Which is why it is better.

Edited by morrizz, Feb 9 2012, 3:18am :

I'd be willing to bet you could say that about EVERY company, because everything is made in China and their sweat shops. Singling out Apple isn't exactly fair.

The working conditions of some folk in Asia you could care less about vs. cheaper prices of your favorite consumer product on the domestic market? Hehh, call my cynical, but I don't think that the American public can possibly get this one wrong.

If they were to protest in front of Sony or Microsoft there would be a "so what?" factor to it. Apple is a larger target in this case so it's easier to exploit.

A lot of the people who will see the protest probably haven't read the reports here about Apple cracking down on poor working conditions in the same factories. And then you've got Apple haters who don't need any help hating.

Im sure you wont be wearing Nike shoes or anything else remotely connected to these sweat shops then ? Be a painful walk on your moral crusade with no footwear ....just saying !

seanseany said,
Im sure you wont be wearing Nike shoes or anything else remotely connected to these sweat shops then ? Be a painful walk on your moral crusade with no footwear ....just saying !
What crusade? Point your finger someplace else, I'm not backing the protesters. I AM saying that protesting Apple will get them more publicity. It's a tactical decision on their part. My Nikes feel just fine.

Epic0range said,
Wasn't there a report that found making an item in america instead of China adds 30%?

Paid for by the pro-sweatshop community of your favorite large corporations.

An electronics company whose name I can't remember was on a US local network affiliate's news story the other day talking about building TVs in some US state, stating it would only add 2% to the final retail cost.

dotf said,

Paid for by the pro-sweatshop community of your favorite large corporations.

An electronics company whose name I can't remember was on a US local network affiliate's news story the other day talking about building TVs in some US state, stating it would only add 2% to the final retail cost.

Add the cost to rebuild new factories; respect Environmental protocols etc. etc.
Ever been in Shangai? It seems to be hunting in the Highlands: the smog is thicker than fog there....

there is always an ugly side to a rosy side. the more rosy something seems to be, the more ugly something is hidden.

What about 350 Microsoft's Xbox Chinese workers who threatened suicide because of appalling work conditions ? What about Nokia moving WP7 product lines to the east to squeeze some $$ from the poor Chinese while letting go 4000 European workers ?

Makes sense... Protest against Apple, when Foxconn (one of the largest employers in the world) is the guilty company.

Apple has nothing to do with Foxconns work force.

Atleast protest against the right company. Noobs in New York.

Wonder how many angry hipsters rocking skinning jeans and iPads will be at this rally? Be sure to tweet about it from your iphone while you're there!

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