Protesters gather at Apple HQ to demand "ethical iPhone"
The groundswell behind news reports and protests against the treatment of workers in Apple's supply chain has been growing recently, spurred by reports from the New York Times as well as ABC, and now the protest has come to Apple's front door. Early in the month, we reported on the petition going around asking Apple to make an "ethical iPhone". At the time, the petition had 40,000 signatures and as of this writing, that number has grown to just over 125,000 (according to the website, though other reports have the number at over 300,000, which may include non-digital signatures).
Yesterday, protesters were rallied at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino by rights organization SumOfUs.org to hand out even more copies of the petition. Questions over the working conditions in Apple's supply chain in Asia, notably Foxconn, have raised awareness and concern about how Apple products are produced. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been on a mission to address those concerns, and has repeatedly stated that the company cares about worker conditions. Apple has also recently entered into the Fair Labor Association, which has already begun inspecting Foxconn and Pegatron facilities. SumOfUs claims that the Fair Labor Association is nothing but "whitewashing" and is insisting that "truly independent NGOs" be granted access to production facilities.
There have also been rumors that Apple could use its $100 billion in cash reserves to improve worker conditions in Asia (or even be even more progressive and set up manufacturing in the USA, although that seems very unlikely). Of course, it still remains to be seen if Apple is willing to take less in profits in order to keep the consumer cost down if it becomes more expensive to produce devices. Because, users may want an "ethical iPhone", but they still don't want to have to pay too much for it.
source: Venture Beat