Ethical iPhone 5 petitions to be delivered to Apple stores

Two petitions asking Apple to improve conditions for overseas workers will be hand delivered by watchdog group SumOfUs to a handful of Apple's retail stores tomorrow.

Apple supply workers assembling MacBook Pro displays in Shanghai. Apple

The two online petitions asking Apple to improve conditions in overseas manufacturing plants ahead of the next iPhone will be hand delivered to a number of Apple's retail stores tomorrow, its creators say.

In a statement today, watchdog group SumOfUs said that it plans to deliver its own petition, along with one from Change.org, to a number of Apple's retail stores around the world. That includes New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London, Sydney, and Bangalore.

Combined, the two petitions have amassed more than 250,000 signatures, the group said.

The petition from SumOfUs garnered 55,000 signatures, with 20,000 of those who signed telling the group that they were iPhone users, with another 35,000 saying they purchase products from Apple. A separate survey posted to Change.org, which asks Apple to "protect workers making iPhones in Chinese factories," has received more than 194,000 signatures.

Both petitions were created late last month , following a pair of investigative stories published by The New York Times that lambasted Apple for poor labor and safety issues in its supplier facilities, as well as using cut-throat business practices that prohibited those manufacturers from making improvements. The one from SumOfUs asks Apple to "overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers," ahead of the release of its next smartphone, which is expected later this year.

"Can Apple do this? Absolutely," the SumOfUs petition reads. "According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in The New York Times, all Apple has to do is demand it, and it'll happen."

The one from Change.org credits the segment on overseas working conditions profiled in NPR's This American Life as its spark. It urges Apple to "release a worker protection strategy for new product releases," as well as to publish the results of any investigations done by the Fair Labor Association of manufacturers it uses. Apple joined the FLA last month, the same day it released its annual supplier responsibility report.

Both petitions are being delivered to stores tomorrow, with a delivery to Apple's recently opened Grand Central Terminal store happening at 10 a.m. Eastern. The group said it's producing "large iPhone posters" and printed handouts to coincide with its delivery.

This is the latest group to take to Apple's retail stores when attempting to make a point about the company's business behaviors. Last June a group called US Uncut targeted Apple's retail stores , protesting the company's support of the Win America Campaign, a lobbying group it claimed was working to get Apple and other businesses a $4 billion tax cut.

Updated at 10 a.m. PT with additional background.

 

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