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Some Apple Users Protest, While Others Line Up for iPad 3 Launch

Consumers gathered at Apple stores in Washington, DC, New York City, and San Francisco, asking Apple for a new product release plan that stops worker abuse.

 

While consumers lined up Friday to purchase the latest iPad, demonstrators also gathered near Apple store locations to raise concerns over unfair labor practices in Apple factories

Apple users supporting the Change.org campaign, demanding the company to focus on worker safety, demonstrated outside Apple store locations in Georgetown, New York City and San Francisco, according to the Washington Post

Demonstrators asked that Apple create a worker protection strategy to prevent workplace abuse, injury, and death—including how to keep workers safe during labor-intensive releases of new products like the iPad 3.

Local consumers armed with banners, handouts and posters, with comments from Apple users around the world, joined the lines of those waiting to buy iPads, asking Apple to commit to implementing a worker protection strategy with a clear timeline.

Apple user Mark Shields launched the campaign in February after learning about poor working conditions in Chinese factories where the bulk of Apple products are manufactured, including the iPad. According to CNN.com, workers complained of a miliatry-like atmosphere where they are surveyed and not allowed to questions authority. These conditions were linked to a string of suicides at Shenzhen plant, CNN.com reports.

After Mark delivered 250,000 petition signatures to six Apple stores around the world, Apple announced the results of their factory investigations would be transparent, and Foxconn raised wages for workers.  

Meanwhile, customers lined up near Apple stores around the world awaiting the launch of the iPad 3. Apple fanatics spent the night sleeping outside the store in Tokyo just to be among the first to get their hands on the third generation iPad—which has an improved retina display, a 5-megapizel iSight camera and 4G LTE speed among its features.

Click here to see a photo gallery of Friday’s iPad launch.

So what do you think?

  • When buying products it may be easy to not think about the conditions under which they were made—is this something that would change your mind about standing in line outside the Apple store for the latest gadget?
  • Will you still buy the iPad 3?
  • Do you think about fair labor practices when you purchase products?

Let us know in the poll!

Scott Petricig March 17, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Okay the important things to remember here are: 1) Apple does not have factories - They contract manufacturing companies such as Foxconn to produce their products 2) Companies such as Foxconn have many other large customers as well - it's not just Apple products being produced there 3) Apple does not control the working conditions or anything else in these factories beyond what may be in their contract Yes, Apple may have a lot of influence on these factories since they are one of the very large customers. But it's important to remember that Apple does not run these factories and does not employ the workers.
Rarity March 17, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Yes, you hit the spot. That's the problem with mainstream news trying to cover tech stories. This is about Foxconn and chinese labor industry as a whole.
BOB I March 17, 2012 at 11:34 AM
who really cares
Suzanne March 17, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I do. I'm having trouble imagining kids killing themselves, rather than go back to sweatshops. Maybe, it's because I have kids. Maybe, it's because it is wrong. I just upgraded my phone. I wanted an iphone. But decided -- not at that price. I asked where the phones were made, I decided I'd rather invest my little bit in South Korea, where we have a little more democracy and fairness and bought an LG. My last one was great too. I love apple computers too. HOWEVER, they are responsible for overseeing their sub-contractors. It's ultimately their product and their name and reputation. Don't think they'd have had the ability to get to where they are with out the way this country used to work, and certainly not in China.
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