On Wednesday morning Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook announced a new iPad will be on sale March 16th.
But consumer watchdog group SumOfUs.org has launched a new petition calling on Apple to release workers’ clock-in and clock-out data for the last 4 months to prove that the new iPad was made without forcing workers into illegal and dangerous levels of overtime.
In January, the New York Times published an investigative story that claimed Foxconn, the factory that produces millions of iPhones and iPads, employs an estimated 230,000 employees who work up to 12-hour shifts for less than $17 a day. There were also accounts of managers waking up employees in the middle of night and handing them a cup of tea and a biscuit before sending them to work half-day shifts.
In recent years, Foxconn workers surveyed by independent researchers from a coalition of Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwan universities reported an average of 83.2 hours of overtime a month, more than twice the amount of China’s legal limit of 36 hours per month
“The few months leading up to product launches are the worst time to be an Apple worker. Apple has a track record of putting its workers through grueling night shifts and dangerous levels of overtime to meet its artificial product launch deadlines. Do we really want to buy an iPad made under those conditions? Apple owes it to us to prove that this product was made ethically,” SumOfUs Executive Director Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, said in a statement.
Apple claims they are setting a new standard in transparency and oversight.
“Apple prohibits practices that threaten the rights of workers — even when local laws and customs permit such practices. We’ve taken action toward ending excessive recruitment fees, preventing the hiring of underage workers, and prohibiting discriminatory policies at our suppliers,” Apple states in their ‘Code of Conduct.’
The New York Times story published in January quoted Foxconn officials explaining that their workers use computerized timecards to clock-in and clock-out and SumOfUs is calling on Apple to release the time clock data for the last 4 months to prove those claims.
“Consumers are waking up to the consequences of Apple’s greed. We don’t want products made this way. We can wait a few more weeks if it means that workers get to sleep and see their families,” Stinebrickner-Kauffman said.
For more information on the petition visit SumofUs.org.