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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Unethical Working Conditions Outrage Apple Customers

Consumers of Apple products demand change for working conditions in China.

Thanks to the mind of Steve Jobs, Apple has become one of the most powerful companies in the world. Now left in the hands of current CEO Tim Cook, the company is experiencing backlash from its consumers.

Apple Store (Photo courtesy AP)
Apple Store (Photo courtesy AP)

Foxconn Technology is China’s largest exporter of consumer electronics, and it is also the nation’s biggest employer. Consumers are outraged allegations have been made that its workers are forced to work in harsh conditions and that they have experienced safety issues, some resulting in death.

CNN recently interviewed a Foxconn worker who said she made less than $1 an hour. “I almost feel like an animal,” she said.

Foxconn has stated that they adhere to appropriate industry standards and national laws, but others believe this to be untrue. Apple fans have united to demand that the company look into these claims and make a change.

On Thursday, multiple petitions were created through websites such as, which had about 200,000 signatures, and, which had roughly 60,000 signatures. Fans plan to deliver these petitions to stores in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London, Sydney and Bangalore, according to CNNMoney.

“Right now we have a huge opportunity as ethical consumers: The launch of the iPhone 5 later this year will be the new Apple CEO Tim Cook’s first big product rollout, and he can’t afford for anything to go wrong—including negative publicity around how Apple’s suppliers treat their workers,” the petition stated.

Cook has responded to this issue by sending an email to the entire company, reinforcing that any notion claiming that Apple does not care about its workers is completely untrue. “Accusations like these are contrary to our values. It’s not who we are,” Cook stated in the email.

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