Petitions denouncing working conditions at Chinese factories making Apple gadgets were delivered to the California firm's new Grand Central Station store.
A protester leaves the Apple store in Washington, DC on February 9, 2012. Petitions denouncing working conditions at Chinese factories making Apple gadgets were delivered to various Apple Stores in the US. The New York Times reported last month that workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices at factories in China "often labor in harsh conditions" and work "excessive overtime." , Photo: AFP
"Our goal is to create a dialogue with Apple," said Sarah Ryan of the activist organization Change.org, which along with other groups called for protests Thursday at Apple stores in New York, London and other major cities.
"We want to work with them to improve their working conditions," Ryan said.
A Change.org petition attracted 200,000 signatures while another from SumOfUs.org gathered 57,000.
They were delivered to employees of Apple's Grand Central Store, which opened on December 9. "They were very polite," Ryan said. "They accepted the box. Everything went well."
The New York Times reported last month that workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices at factories in China "often labor in harsh conditions" and work "excessive overtime."
The newspaper said two explosions at iPad factories last year killed four people and injured 77.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook responded last month to media reports alleging harsh working conditions in China.
In an email to Apple staff obtained by the 9to5mac.com website, Cook said Apple was inspecting more factories and opening up its supply chain for independent evaluations by the Fair Labor Association.
"Every year we inspect more factories, raising the bar for our partners and going deeper into the supply chain," Cook said. "We've made a great deal of progress and improved conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers.
"We know of no one in our industry doing as much as we are, in as many places, touching as many people," he said.
"We are attacking problems aggressively with the help of the world’s foremost authorities on safety, the environment, and fair labor," he said.
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