Apple: Protect Workers Making iPhones in Chinese Factories
  • Petitioned Apple

This petition was delivered to:


Apple: Protect Workers Making iPhones in Chinese Factories

    1. Mark Shields
    2. Petition by

      Mark Shields

      Washington, DC

April 2012


Absolutely incredible.  After more than a quarter million Apple customers from around the world united their voices and took a stand against one of the most profitable corporations in the world, we've won.


Major media outlets from around the world have reported on the terrible quality of life for the workers in these factories.  Apple has clearly taken the reports seriously - because they're taking action on them.  So, while This American Life may be retracting 'Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory,' it seems like the issues and facts at the core of this story are still the same. As an Apple customer, I'm glad to have had my eyes opened to these issues, and to have had a chance to do something about them.  My sincere hope is that everyone stays focused on what's important here - which is protecting the well-being of these factory workers.

Dear Apple,

You know what’s awesome? Listening to NPR podcasts through an Apple Airport, playing through a Mac laptop, while puttering about the kitchen. Do you know the fastest way to replace awesome with a terrible knot in your stomach? Learning that your beloved Apple products are made in factories where conditions are so bad, it’s not uncommon for workers to permanently lose the use of their hands.

Last week’s This American Life shined a spotlight on the working conditions in the Chinese factories where iPhones are made. Just one example of the hardships there: the men and women in these factories work very long days spent repeating the same motions over and over, which creates amped-up carpal tunnel syndrome in their wrists and hands. This often results in them losing the use of their hands for the rest of their lives. This condition could be easily prevented if the workers were rotated through different positions in the factory, but they are not. Why? Because there are no labor laws in China to protect these people.

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.

Here are two simple asks (basically taken from the end of the TAL report) that could make a profound difference in the lives of the men and women in your factories and others like them:

First, in regards to the worker traumas described in the story, ranging from suicide attempts to the people losing the use of their hands from repetitive motion injuries, we ask that Apple release a worker protection strategy for new product releases, which are the instances when injuries and suicides typically spike because of the incredible pressure to meet quotas timed to releases.

Second, since the TAL story aired, Apple has announced that the Fair Labor Association will be monitoring its suppliers. Awesome step. Please publish the results of FLA's monitoring, including the NAMES of the suppliers found to have violations and WHAT those violations are, so that there is transparency around the monitoring effort.

Please make these changes immediately, so that each of us can once again hold our heads high and say, “I’m a Mac person.”

Your own ads say that “the people who think they are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Please get to it.

Recent signatures


    1. Something different is beginning to happen

      Nick Allardice
      Managing Director, Asia

      Something different is beginning to happen all over Australia. Every day people are taking a stand on local, state and national issues that matter to them, and they’re winning. launched in Australia six months ago. There was a simple goal...

    2. Apple Asks Outside Group to Inspect Factories

      Sarah Ryan
      Campaigns Strategist and Coordinator

      Responding to a growing outcry over conditions at its overseas factories, Apple said Monday that an outside organization had begun to audit working conditions at the plants where the bulk of iPhones, iPads and other Apple products are built, and that the group would make its finding public.

    3. Reached 200,000 signatures
    4. Campaign about Apple Factories in China Gains Wide and Diverse Support

      Sarah Ryan
      Campaigns Strategist and Coordinator

      We typically don’t think about the people who make our iPhones, computers and iPods.  They come to us in perfectly white boxes from the Apple store, ready to be played with.  Rarely do we consider the hands that made them, the human cost...

    5. Reached 100,000 signatures
    6. CBS Sunday Morning Takes a Look Inside the iPhone Factory

      Mark Shields
      Petition Organizer

      News coverage around Apple's factory suppliers have been fast and furious this weekend. CBS brings the story home, pointing out that 37 million people bought iPhones this holiday season, worth about $46 billion in the final quarter of last year. They can clearly afford to fix these problems.

    7. Reached 75,000 signatures
    8. Apple CEO Tim Cook Responds

      Jess Kutch
      Petition Organizer

      Apple's CEO responded to the public outcry over conditions at Foxconn factories. The CEO wrote in an email this week, "What we will not do - and never have done - is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain...On this you have my word." You're making an impact! Let's continue holding Tim Cook accountable to his customers by demanding real changes from Apple.

    9. Reached 30,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Lynn Wilson SHOREVIEW, MN
      • over 2 years ago

      I think I would have thought twice before getting my new phone had I known about this earlier.

      • over 2 years ago

      I am signing because it's normal that in 2012, the Chinese factories deliver good working conditions to their workers.

      • over 2 years ago

      We must inform our children about the HUMAN COST of these "Status Products". So they grow up to be aware of the World and to ask questions.

    • Bernard M Jr Lynch WATERBURY, CT
      • over 2 years ago

      If this wouldn't be permitted in the United States, why does Apple permit the flagrant abuse of its workers overseas? In another time, Lewis Hine photographed children working in dangerous conditions, at all hours, and for pennies. His photography brought about the Child Labor Laws, the bulk of which we have in place, in the United States, today. Why would Apple permit this type of behaviour elsewhere? We (Apple consumers) are already paying premium prices for computers and other Apple gadgets, but I will not purchase another Apple product until July 1, 2012, when some of the labor laws enacted go into effect.

      And Apple? How about bringing some of the outsourced work to the USA. Unemployment may be around 8%, but for me, it's 100%. And I use your computers, but I won't buy your "toys."

      • over 2 years ago

      I love Apple, I'm a fan of Mac products and of course Sir Jonathan Ive - but knowing that their human rights record is beyond reproach would make me more of a fan.


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