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From: zax2/22/2012 8:03:27 PM
   of 30090
 
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Factory workers claim Foxconn hid underage employees before FLA inspection
By Josh Ong

Published: 03:40 AM EST (12:40 AM PST)

appleinsider.com

Workers at Apple partner Foxconn have alleged that their employer transferred underage employees to other departments or did not schedule them to work overtime in order to avoid discovery during recent inspections by the Fair Labor Association, according to one non-governmental organization.

Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) project officer Debby Sze Wan Chan relayed the claims in a recent interview with AppleInsider. SACOM is a Hong Kong-based NGO that was formed in 2005 and has been researching labor rights violations in the electronics industry since 2007.

Chan said she had heard from two Foxconn workers in Zhenghou last week that the manufacturer was "prepared for the inspection" by the Fair Labor Association that had been commissioned by Apple and began last week.

"All underage workers, between 16-17 years old, were not assigned any overtime work and some of them were even sent to other departments," Chan reported the workers as having said.

Another Foxconn worker in Chengdu said she had been allowed three breaks a day recently because of the audit, whereas she is accustomed to only receiving one break a day.

Apple's supplier code of conduct allows for workers between 16 and 18 years old if they are legally allowed to work, but it requires special protections for those workers that limit how much and what kinds of work they are allowed to perform.

FLA president Auret van Heerden initially told reporters last week that Foxconn's facilities were "first class," though he did add that there are "tons of issues" that need resolving. He also revealed in an interview with Nightline that Apple had paid $250,000 to join the FLA and was picking up the bill for the audits.

van Heerden did say in that interview that he expected Foxconn to put on a show. The FLA plans to conduct "bottom up interviews" as part of its audit, as noted by TUAW.

According to SACOM, some Foxconn workers feel that Apple does not care about them because they believe the company's representatives have seen labor violations during their visits and have elected not to do anything. Chan recounted instances where she had told workers about a letter that Apple CEO Tim Cook allegedly wrote declaring that the company cares about "every worker in [its] supply chain."

"The workers just feedback that they don't feel this [care]," she said.



Foxconn workers file down the Apple logo on an iPad component. | Credit: Almin Karamehmedovic/ ABC News


"Most of the time, the workers are aware of the presence of Apple's representatives inside the factories. It is not the problem that Apple doesn't know the real problems at their suppliers. They know, but it is only because they do not care," she added.

For her part, Chan said she hopes that Cook will work to improve working conditions among suppliers, but she also expressed doubts whether he has "any commitments to do so."

SACOM has drafted a petition calling for Apple to "end the use of student workers; provide a living wage for all the workers so they do not have to work excessive overtime hours; conduct labour rights training for workers, including training on occupational health and safety; facilitate the formation of a genuine trade union through democratic election; and compensate the victims if there is non-compliance with the Apple code of conduct."

Chan said she had yet to receive a reply from Apple after more than two years of trying to contact the company. She even visited Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters in an attempt to deliver reports, documentaries and petition cards to the company, but, according to her, the receptionist refused to receive SACOM's materials.

"Finally, a security guard tried to disperse us and he promised that he would hand the materials to someone in charge, but I haven't heard from them since then," she said.

SACOM protesters attempted to deliver Apple a petition from Sum of Us on Tuesday at the Apple Store in Hong Kong, but no one from the company would accept it.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment from AppleInsider.

When asked whether recent reports from The New York Times and CNN on Apple's supply chain are accurate, Chan said their findings were "quite similar" to her organization's own research..

"The workers always tell us they resemble machines," she said of her trips to the Foxconn's Chengdu factory. "Their regular day at Foxconn is waking up, queuing up for baths and work, work and go back to the dormitory and sleep. They do not have a social life and they are doing the same monotonous task in the factory for thousands of times a day. If they are not efficient enough or they make some mistakes, they will be yelled at by their supervisor or punished."

Chan took things a step further and said that mainstream media outlets have left out an important issue that should be under the spotlight: involuntary labor and the use of student workers. According to her, local Chinese government departments provide recruitment assistance for Foxconn and sometimes require that schools send their students to the manufacturer for internships even if their studies are in unrelated disciplines.

She also said that a recent raise from Foxconn was not enough to provide livable wages to its workers. The company announced last week that it was raising worker pay by between 16 and 25 percent. Other manufacturers, including Flextronics, Huawei and Wintek have also increased their basic salaries for their workers.

"In Zhengzhou, the basic salary of new workers is CNY 1350 ($214)," Chan said. "And there is a deduction of CNY 150 ($24) for the dorm. If a worker eats inside the factory, there is another CNY 200-300 ($32-48) to pay. It is far from the living wage standard. Without overtime premiums, a worker can hardly support his/herself."

One Foxconn VP appeared to put the onus on Apple in a recent interview by saying that the company would welcome demands from its client to double worker pay.

Chan did admit that many factory jobs are better than opportunities in workers' hometowns, but she pointed out that the fact that the opportunities are better than others should not be an excuse to violate workers' basic labor rights.

It should also be noted that other brands have a responsibility to ensure fair conditions in their supply chains. As the biggest IT manufacturer in the world, Foxconn provides services for a number of Apple's competitors, including HP, Dell, Nokia, Samsung and Sony. Chan said working conditions on production lines for most companies at Foxconn are generally "quite similar," though she did note that interviewees have indicated that Finnish handset maker Nokia does try to guarantee at least one day a week off for Foxconn workers assembling its products. Other production lines might only allow one day off every two weeks, Chan added.

When asked what individual consumers should do to act on concerns about working conditions in the electronics industry, Chan urged buyers to put pressure on companies, including Apple.

"I think the pressure from consumers is definitely the most important incentive for Apple to reform because Apple, like any other corporation, aims to maximize the profits and minimize the responsibility. If there is no pressure from consumers then Apple does not need to care about criticism from the public."

"Apple has its code of conduct, but that is merely a piece of paper without a mechanism to enforce those standards," she continued. "When we demand that Apple should fix the problem, it's not just because Apple is under the spotlight, but it's also because we hope to hold Apple accountable because the company has publicly pledged lots of things, like that they will ensure decent working conditions at its suppliers."

To its credit, Apple has made some moves toward greater transparency with its supply chain as it looks to curb worker rights abuses and environmental violations in addition to its decision to join the FLA. One well-known Chinese environmental activist revealed earlier this week that Apple had agreed to allow his organization to audit two of its suppliers. Apple also released a public list of its suppliers last month for the first time. In addition, the company allowed Nightline an unprecedented look at iPhone and iPad production lines.

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From: zax2/22/2012 8:06:27 PM
   of 30090
 

Kodak Case Against Apple, HTC to Be Investigated by Agency
By Susan Decker - Feb 22, 2012 3:05 PM CT

bloomberg.com

Eastman Kodak Co. (EK)’s newest patent-infringement complaint against Apple Inc. and HTC Corp. (2498) will be reviewed by a federal trade agency that has the power to block imports of products that infringe U.S. patents.

The U.S. International Trade Commission agreed to investigate the claims filed by Kodak with the agency Jan. 10, according to a notice posted today on the Washington-based commission’s website.

Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection last month and is turning to its patent portfolio to help fund a turnaround. The company claims infringement of inventions related to digital photographs. It plans to phase out the unit that makes digital cameras and picture frames.

The complaint at the commission accuses Apple and HTC of using Kodak inventions covered by four patents related to image transmission, including a way for users to share images directly from cameras. Kodak also claims HTC is infringing a fifth patent for an image preview feature that’s at the center of another case at the agency against Apple and Research In Motion Ltd.

In the latest case, Rochester, New York-based Kodak is seeking to block imports of products including Apple’s iPad and iPhone, and HTC’s Flyer tablet and Wildfire S phone.

Import Ban Kodak has said it filed the complaint after licensing negotiations failed, and it’s counting on the threat of an import ban to lead to a settlement.

The company has put its more than 1,100 digital-imaging patents up for sale. Chief Executive Officer Antonio Perez has said that the Apple-RIM trade commission case may generate $1 billion in new revenue.

The commission typically completes investigations in 16 to 18 months. The case against Apple and RIM has taken longer partly because the judge handling the case retired. A new judge is scheduled to release findings in that case in May.

The case is In the Matter of Electronic Devices for Capturing and Transmitting Images, 337-831, U.S. International Trade Commission ( Washington). The related civil case against Apple is Eastman Kodak Co. v. Apple Inc. (AAPL), 12cv6020, and the case against HTC is Eastman Kodak Co. v. HTC, 12cv6021, both in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York (Rochester).

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From: zax2/22/2012 8:20:16 PM
   of 30090
 
I was wondering what job could possibly be worse than building iPads for Apple at Foxconn. Then it occurred to me...

Apple's latest sandboxing deadline delay signals moving goalposts for devs
By Chris Foresman

arstechnica.com

Apple has given developers yet another few months to implement application sandboxing for OS X apps, a security feature brought over from iOS: the deadline is now June 1, 2012. While the intent of sandboxing is to prevent hacked apps from taking over a user's system, however, the sandbox design inherently limits functionality that users and developers have come to expect on the desktop. Apple's changes and delays to sandboxing requirements have also created a situation where the sandboxing goalpost keeps moving while developers continue to push Apple to improve its design.

What does Apple mean by sandboxing? An application can run in its own "sandbox," a protected space separated from other apps and the operating system. While inside the sandbox, apps can't do bad things like delete a user's entire directory, or open network connections and phone home to a botnet server.

As John Siracusa explained in his review of Lion last year:

Running an application inside a sandbox is meant to minimize the damage that could be caused if that application is compromised by a piece of malware. A sandboxed application voluntarily surrenders the ability to do many things that a normal process run by the same user could do. For example, a normal application run by a user has the ability to delete every single file owned by that user. Obviously, a well-behaved application will not do this. But if an application becomes compromised, it may be coerced into doing something destructive. Apps running in a sandbox have a harder time getting into other apps' sandboxes, but that can also limit the functionality of an app to an extent that it could no longer be useful. For instance, according to Bare Bones' Rich Siegel, the BBEdit text editor would not be able to do a multifile search and replace, show live folder views of complete programming projects, or integrate with version control systems if sandboxed.

"You quickly start running into problems if this sandboxing stuff gets carried to a rigorous and/or logical conclusion," Siegel told Ars last November. "I'm sure there are lots of businesses who've built automation workflows, which fanatical sandboxing would completely break."

A moving goalpost



Apple's e-mail to developers on Tuesday extended the deadline yet again.


Originally, Apple set a November deadline for developers to use OS X Lion's app sandboxing capabilities lest their apps be barred from the Mac App Store. But as developers struggled to work within the limits of Apple's sandboxing implementation, Apple extended the deadline to March 1, 2012. And now in an e-mail to developers on Tuesday afternoon, Apple again extended the deadline to June 1.

In particular, Apple noted that the recent release of Mac OS X 10.7.3 introduced additional "entitlements," special privileges that apps can claim from the operating system to do things like access files, send and receive Apple Events, use hardware resources like a FireWire port or FaceTime camera, or connect to the Internet.

"We have extended the deadline for sandboxing your apps on the Mac App Store from March 1st to June 1st to provide you with enough time to take advantage of new sandboxing entitlements available in OS X 10.7.3 and new APIs in Xcode 4.3," Apple wrote.

Furthermore, Apple is encouraging developers to file bugs against sandboxing entitlements that they feel are missing. Developers can also request a temporary entitlement from Apple, evaluated on a case by case basis, to enable functionality not covered by the existing entitlements.

Unfortunately, the changes now present several new conundrums for developers. Many apps have to be significantly re-architected to work within sandboxing limits. That's a lot of work for a relatively low security benefit, argued Red Sweater's Daniel Jalkut.

For instance, apps targeting OS X 10.7.3 for its expanded sandbox entitlements will still run on Snow Leopard (10.6) or even earlier versions of Lion. Under Snow Leopard, apps simply run without sandboxing altogether. However, under 10.7.0 to 10.7.2, certain functionality that requires entitlements introduced in 10.7.3 simply won't work—the system won't be able to grant the necessary entitlements.

Developers are considering how to handle those edge cases. Should the app try to work around the limits, or should an app just alert the user that it won't work unless Lion is updated? Or should Apple develop a better way to handle the entitlements regardless of OS version?

"Apple's delay acknowledges the challenges of sandboxing both for developers and for Apple," Jalkut told Ars, suggesting Apple should in fact push the sandboxing requirement to the release of OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) this summer. "I think everything sandboxing related up to now should be considered a sort of test run," he said, and Apple should consider an alternative way of enabling sandboxing on the desktop.

"It's a good thing that Apple is listening to developers with respect to sandboxing. I see Apple's approach to this now as an iterative process of chipping away at remaining shortcomings in sandboxing," Jalkut said. But it's clear that sandboxing isn't yet a workable solution for improving security on the desktop as it has been for Apple's mobile platform.

Gatekeeper, a new security feature coming to Mountain Lion, may offer a better alternative to sandboxing, at least in the short term. Gatekeeper works by allowing users to control whether apps obtained from the Mac App Store, from registered developers, or from anyone can be run on a user's system.

"Gatekeeper provides a huge security benefit for very little developer cost and no changes to application design," Jalkut noted. "Sandboxing, by comparison, is a huge amount of work for both Apple and developers, and in the context of Gatekeeper may provide little additional protection to users."

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From: sylvester802/22/2012 8:34:58 PM
   of 30090
 
This is what the Galaxy Nexus as a desktop PC looks like
youtube.com

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To: sylvester80 who wrote (16845)2/22/2012 11:48:53 PM
From: Heywood40
   of 30090
 

Do you ever post your trades?

If you're trading on your predictions this year like you did last year, why don't you post your trades so we can watch you make another killing.

What positions do you have right now?

I'll be the first to congratulate you on your documented successes.

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To: Heywood40 who wrote (16857)2/23/2012 12:52:43 AM
From: Sr K
   of 30090
 
He posted many trades here
Subject 57824

Usually shorting opening pops, in the premarket or early in the day.

Go to 11/15 and follow a few. He hasn't posted a cover yet for yesterday's short.

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To: Sr K who wrote (16858)2/23/2012 1:49:31 AM
From: Heywood40
   of 30090
 

Saying he "shorted" a stock, then "covered" and thereby "made a killing" isn't the same as posting his trades.

If he wants to have any credibility for his claims, he will post what strikes and expiry dates he's trading as he trades them, not afterwards.

If he can take the time to say he "shorted" or "covered" AAPL, he can take the time to tell us the strike and expiry of the option he bought or sold.

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To: Heywood40 who wrote (16859)2/23/2012 7:48:03 AM
From: sylvester80
   of 30090
 
>>>>the strike and expiry of the option he bought or sold.

options are for losers (95% of all options expire worthless). I trade actual shares.... LMFAO... too funny...

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From: zax2/23/2012 7:55:44 AM
   of 30090
 
IPad Battle Reveals BOC as Apple Opponent
By Bloomberg News - Feb 23, 2012 5:27 AM CT

bloomberg.com via Sr K

Apple’s IPad Trademark Battle

Kevin Lee/Bloomberg

Losing its Feb. 29 appeal would open Apple to lawsuits seeking damages and enable a nationwide ban on iPad sales in the Cupertino, California-based company’s biggest market outside the U.S.


Apple iPad 2 tablets are removed from a shelf at Saga IT Mall in Xian, China. Source: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images


Rowell Yang, founder of Proview International Holdings Ltd. Source: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Apple sued Proview’s Shenzhen-based unit in 2010, claiming ownership of the iPad trademark in China on the basis of the December 2009 contract that the U.S. company says gave it global rights to the name, including in China.


A general view of Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co. Source: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s legal fight for the iPad name in China doesn’t just pit the world’s most-valuable company against a failed Hong Kong display maker. Some of the nation’s biggest banks also are opposing the technology giant.

Apple is appealing a Chinese court ruling that the trademark belongs to a mainland unit of Proview International Holdings Ltd. (334) At the time Apple says it bought those rights, the Shenzhen subsidiary was controlled by creditors including Bank of China Ltd. (3988) and China Minsheng Banking Corp. (1988), according to Proview founder Rowell Yang.

Losing its Feb. 29 appeal would open Apple to lawsuits seeking damages and enable a nationwide ban on iPad sales in the Cupertino, California-based company’s biggest market outside the U.S. The dispute revolves on whether Proview’s Taiwan unit, to which Apple paid 35,000 British pounds ($55,163) to use the iPad name in China, had the right to sell it or whether that rested with the Shenzhen unit and its creditors.

“Right now, the most valuable asset of Proview Group is the iPad trademark registration in China,” said Eugene Low, a trademark lawyer at Mayer Brown JSM in Hong Kong. “Assuming the creditors have control of the affairs of Proview Shenzhen, it might be in their best interest to get a settlement as quickly as possible to monetize the Proview assets.”

‘Not True’ After Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co. defaulted on loans, the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court in March 2009 appointed Bank of China and Minsheng to lead a reorganization of the company, Yang, who remains chairman of the unit, said in a Feb. 21 interview.

“We can’t make any agreements without the creditors,”Yang said. “We are under the monitoring and control of the court.” Chinese court documents are not publicly available to verify the claim.

No one in Shenzhen, a city neighboring Hong Kong, knew the Taiwan unit signed away the China trademarks, Yang said.

Apple says that’s not true. Proview “refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China,” said Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman. She declined to comment further, as the case is pending before the courts.

Proview’s wholly owned Shenzhen subsidiary obtained the iPad trademark in China in 2001, according to a Feb. 3, 2010, regulatory filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The mark was obtained for a desktop terminal with touch-screen display called the Internet Personal Access Device, or iPad, that the company developed starting in 1998, Yang said.

Court Rejects Apple sued Proview’s Shenzhen-based unit in 2010, claiming ownership of the iPad trademark in China on the basis of the December 2009 contract that the U.S. company says gave it global rights to the name, including in China. The Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court rejected Apple’s claims on Nov. 17.

“If the plaintiff wants to buy trademarks from the defendant, it should do so according to China’s laws and regulations by signing contracts with the defendant,” the judgment said.

The court said the purchase agreement was signed in the name of Proview’s Taipei-based subsidiary, Proview Electronics Co., which failed to demonstrate that the transfer was approved by the Shenzhen unit that owned the mark.

Apple appealed to the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong, said Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer representing Proview at Grandall Law Firm in Beijing. Hearings begin Feb. 29.

London Link Proview “hasn’t yet decided the final claim amount” it will seek from Apple, the company’s lawyer, Roger Xie, said last week. A 10 billion-yuan ($1.6 billion) sum cited by China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency in December was “preliminary,” he said.

Apple bought Proview’s trademarks through a U.K.-based unit called IP Application Development Ltd., or IPADL. Haydn Wood, who signed the agreement with Proview Electronics on behalf of IPADL, declined to comment on the agreement or lawsuits when contacted by Bloomberg News.

Sales of iPads reached 32 million worldwide last year, earning revenue of $20.4 billion. At $480 billion, Apple’s market capitalization surpasses the $454 billion value of all of Mexico’s listed companies, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Apple has itself to blame for failing to properly secure rights for the China market, said Ray Mai, the Shanghai-based lawyer who represented Proview in the 2009 talks with IPADL.

Apple Rush “At that time, Proview was not in good condition,” said Mai, whose signature is on the sales agreement. “On one side is this nearly bankrupt company, on the other is one of the strongest companies in the world. When we signed, Apple dispatched a lot of famous lawyers in front of me, very big law firms.”

Mai was outside counsel for Proview at the time and no longer represents the company, he said in a Feb. 17 phone interview. A copy of a business card from 2009 with Mai’s name on it described him as “director and lawyer” of Proview Technology (Shenzhen)’s legal department.

Apple was rushing to obtain trademark rights for the iPad name so it could roll out the product, Yang said. Then-Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs announced the iPad on Jan. 27, 2010, more than a month after the Proview contract was signed Dec. 23. Apple didn’t grasp the nature of the relationship between the Shenzhen trademark holder, its banks and the courts, Yang said.

“The banks controlled Proview Shenzhen from March 2009,”Yang said. “We needed bank approval for any sale of assets.”

Bank of China is still a Proview creditor, according to the Shenzhen-based press officer of the nation’s fourth-largest lender by market value, who declined to be identified citing company policy. An official at Minsheng Bank, who also declined to be identified, confirmed creditors control Proview’s Shenzhen assets. The banks declined to comment on the Apple case.

Rise, Fall The Proview Group was founded by Yang in Taiwan in 1989 as a maker of televisions and computer displays, and went public eight years later in Hong Kong.

By September 1999, it was among the world’s 10 biggest makers of computer monitors and planned to reach the top five“in the near future,” its annual report for that year shows. Sales expanded 10-fold from HK$1.77 billion ($228 million) in 1997 to HK$17.4 billion in 2008, when the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis expanded into a global slowdown.

Proview’s sales plunged 74 percent to HK$4.46 billion in 2009, when it lost HK$2.91 billion. As falling sales eroded cash flow, Proview units defaulted on payments to suppliers and creditors, the company said in its annual report that year.

Delisting Move “The Shenzhen factory, the group’s primary manufacturing base, could only continue its operation with the assistance of the municipal government and the Bank of China and other creditor banks,” it said.

The company last published results in March 2010, for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2009. It had a loss of HK$755.8 million and a deficit attributable to equity holders of HK$2.37 billion. Bank borrowings stood at HK$1.8 billion.

Proview’s Hong Kong shares have been suspended since Aug. 2, 2010. The Hong Kong stock exchange on Dec. 30 gave Proview a third and final warning that it would be removed from the bourse by June 29 if it failed to publish results and demonstrate sufficient working capital for 12 months.

On Dec. 2, Proview announced it had struck an agreement with investor Rally Praise Ltd. to restructure the company and raise capital. No record of a company with that name could be found using Internet and registry searches.

Export Threat Meantime, Proview is taking the fight to Apple. The company filed complaints to more than 40 local branches of the Administration for Industry and Commerce, according to Proview lawyer Ma. Court actions have been lodged in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Huizhou, he said.

Pudong District Court in Shanghai today rejected Proview’s application for an injunction against sales of iPads in the city to allow the Guangdong court to rule on who owns the trademark. Proview will appeal, Xie said.

Apple’s Wu said she didn’t immediately have information available on the case.

The decision of the Guangdong Higher People’s Court will likely be final, said He Fang, an intellectual property lawyer at Rouse & Co. International in Shanghai. In exceptional cases, litigants who lose a second decision can refer their cases to the Supreme People’s Court, the nation’s highest, He said.

Proview has also applied to the Customs Bureau to block exports as well as imports of iPads, it said last week.
“China’s Customs Bureau has powers not just on imports, but on exports, too, making it different from other countries,”He said. “Most of Apple’s iPads are manufactured in China, so if the Customs Bureau imposes restrictions on exports, then it becomes a global issue for Apple.”

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net; Mark Lee in Hong Kong at wlee37@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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To: FUBHO who wrote (16796)2/23/2012 8:05:40 AM
From: zax
   of 30090
 
Poisoned iPhone factory workers beg for reform in open letter
By: Zach Epstein | Feb 22nd, 2012 at 02:40PM

bgr.com



A pair of workers who claim to have been poisoned by toxins in a Suzhou, China factory while assembling touchscreens for Apple’s iPhone have written an open letter begging consumers to demand reform. SumOfUs, the organization behind the Ethical iPhone Campaign, released the letter in an email to the media on Wednesday afternoon. The letter was written by Guo Rui-qiang and Jia Jing-chuan, two former factory workers who urge consumers to sign SumOfUs’s petition and demand that Apple force its suppliers and manufacturing partners to improve working conditions at their Chinese factories. Both workers claim to have been poisoned by a chemical cleaner called N-hexane, and they have suffered neurological damage as a result. The Fair Labor Association is currently conduction inspections of two Foxconn factories, prompted by Apple, and while only preliminary inspections have been made at this point, the organization says it has already found “ tons of issues.” The workers’ letter follows below in its entirety.

Dear SumOfUs Members and Friends -

You don’t know us but you have seen our work. Until recently, we worked long hours assembling Apple’s iPhone touch screens in Suzhou, China.

In early 2010, it was independently confirmed that 137 workers, including us, were poisoned by a chemical called n-hexane which was used to clean iPhone screens.N-hexane is known to cause eye, skin and respiratory tract irritation, and leads to persistant nerve damage. Apple admitted to gross labour rights violations more than a year later.

If more people know about what we went through, Apple will feel pressured to change so other workers don’t have to suffer like we did.

Can you share this letter with your friends, and ask them to join you in signing our petition calling for a reform of working conditions at their factories?

We have been pressuring Apple, and its new CEO Tim Cook, for years to compensate those of us who were injured working for them, and demanding reform of working conditions at their Chinese factories so that their workers don’t suffer like we do. Now we need your help as customers or potential customers of Apple.

We need your help to send a message to Apple before their shareholder meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23rd. We want to see a strict corporate social responsibility and reform of the audit system to prevent similar tragedies in the future. He will listen to you as current or potential consumers.

You’ve already signed the petition, and 82,000 others have too — for that, we thank you. We believe it’d be symbolicly powerful if 100,000 people signed the petition before SumOfUs delivers it to Tim Cook on Thursday at their shareholder meeting. We’re really close to that goal, but we need you to share our request with your friends to get over the edge.

Can you share our letter with your friends, and ask them to sign the petition too?

It has been over two years since many of us were hospitalized and treated but our debilitating symptoms continue. Rui-Qiang still can’t find work because he can no longer stand for the long hours most jobs require. Jing-Chuan has to spend nearly $100 a month on health supplements.

But with all of us working together to pressure Apple to change, we can make sure what happened to us doesn’t happen to others too.

- Guo Rui-qiang and Jia Jing-chuan

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