Now may be a good time to petition Apple to overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers.
BlogLESS-readers-slash-Apple-product-owners: here's a chance to do your gadget-crazed bit for corporate responsibility. I quote in full below.
Every day, tens of millions of people will swipe the screens of their iPhones to unlock them.
On the other side of the world, a young girl is also swiping those screens. In fact, every day, during her 12+ hour shifts, six days a week, she repetitively swipes tens of thousands of them. She spends those hours inhaling n-hexane, a potent neurotoxin used to clean iPhone glass, because it dries a few seconds faster than a safe alternative. After just a few years on the line, she will be fired because the neurological damage from the n-hexane and the repetitive stress injuries to her wrists and hands make her unable to continue performing up to standard.
Right now we have a huge opportunity as ethical consumers: The launch of the iPhone 5 later this year will be 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. That’s why we’re launching a campaign this week to get Apple to overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers in time for the launch of the iPhone 5.
In many cases, people literally are dying while making Apple products. Reporters have documented cases of deadly explosions at iPad factories, and repeated instances of employees dying of exhaustion after working thirty to sixty hour shifts. In some of the factories Apple contracts with, so many employees have attempted suicide that management installed nets to prevent employees from dying while jumping off building ledges.
Can Apple do this? Absolutely. Apple is the richest company in the world, posting a profit margin for the last quarter of 42.4% yesterday. They’re sitting on $100 billion in the bank. According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in the New York Times, all Apple has to do is demand it, and it’ll happen – “Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.”