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BadApple campaign wants Apple loyals to pressure the company for increased labor safety

Posted: , by Luis D.

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BadApple campaign wants Apple loyals to pressure the company for increased labor safety

This Tuesday, Washington, D.C.'s Green America shed light on toxic chemical exposure in Apple devices' production process, and held a conference the day after. The organization, which is backed up by NY-based China Labor Watch, cited industry insiders to reaffirm a strong statement - it will cost Apple a mere $1 per product to substitute benzene and n-hexane, two very hazardous chemicals used by workers for cleaning and polishing production materials. Multiplied by the iPhone production volume, which is well into the tens of millions, this $1 would pile up a hefty additional cost. Nevertheless, such expense is not an excuse, as continuous exposure to these substances can, and has caused leukaemia and other diseases among employees.

The campaign's official outlet is the BadApple website, where a MP3 of the conference is available, along with an on-line petition form to end poisonous chemical use. There's also a very depressing 10-minute documentary (which isn't aimed solely at Apple, by the way) about poisoned workers in Chinese factories. It tells all that needs to be known about the impact of what is, unfortunately, only one of many severe labor issues. In addition, Green America is asking Apple to organize a healthcare fund which will help workers who fall sick due to poisoning and other work-related incidents. A Frequently Asked Questions page clearly explains that the campaign isn't boycotting Apple, and contains thorough information about its intent and desired outcome.

Green America hopes that Apple customers will join the movement and send the company letters to make it replace the toxic chemicals with proposed safer alternatives. "We know from experience that once you get a certain amount of consumer pressure, the company will listen to that opinion." - said Elizabeth O'Connel, campaign director.

BadApple campaign wants Apple loyals to pressure the company for increased labor safety
Apple did not comment on the matter, but it issued a convincing response: "When it comes to handling chemicals and toxic substances, we require that our suppliers around the world meet or exceed respected U.S. safety standards such as OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Last year, we conducted nearly 200 factory inspections, which focused on hazardous chemicals, to make sure those facilities meet our strict standards. We also provide suppliers with training in hazardous chemical management, industrial hygiene and personal protection equipment as part of the Apple Supplier EHS Academy in Suzhou, China."

Although BadApple comes across as a name for a smear campaign, Green America has no ill intent. It chose to target Apple, because it believes “Apple has the power to improve working conditions throughout the electronics-manufacturing sector by influencing both its suppliers (like Foxconn, Pegatron, Quanta, Primax) and its competitors.” The company is the largest and most influential client of these contract manufacturers, and is extremely popular in the consumer space.

The organization is sending the right message across.

Given that, it's understandable that Green America's campaign would receive the most attention and chances of positive outcome if it targeted the iPhone maker. The organization is sending the right message across, so let's hope the anti-Apple name won't cause many to dismiss it as a smear campaign before even looking into it.

source: BadApple via PC World

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posted on 13 Mar 2014, 05:18 4

1. timukh (Posts: 295; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

Apple will see this as a business oppertunity and call their next iPhone as benzene and n-hexane free thereby increasing the price of iDevices by another $10 for their "extra" $1 manufacturing cost..

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 07:12 2

2. Lt.Green (Posts: 397; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)

I think it's the unwillingness of the manufacturers to comply to Apples safety standards is who's at fault here, not Apple.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 07:58 4

4. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

How is it not Apple's responsibility to make sure that THEIR products are manufactured in a safe and healthy manner?

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 09:53

7. joaolx (Posts: 364; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

They don't hire or own the workers, they just order the parts and the manufacturing.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 12:11 2

9. PBXtech (Posts: 1032; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)

You must have skipped over the part where Apple says they hold their manufacturers to the standards held by OSHA.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 09:54

8. joaolx (Posts: 364; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Exactly, they don't own the manufacters and even then they're still trying to making changes.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 07:15

3. papss (unregistered)

Where are these manufacturing plants? Hmmm

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 08:20

5. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)

BadApple = BlackFish... Please keep informing the public about the "greedy" industry.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 09:52

6. joaolx (Posts: 364; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

So Apple is the one making changes and they still do this campaign? And let's not forget that everyone uses these manufacters, not only Apple. And Apple doesn't own them so they can't really change what they do because of that.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 13:25 1

10. lyndon420 (Posts: 5002; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

True...they don't own them, so out of sight out of mind right? My Moto X was made in the USA...is it beyond apple's capabilities to do something similar? I know...apple could set up plants here and hire volunteers employed by apple fans...except give them nice shiny phones for payment :-)

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