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'Ethical iPhone 5': First Long Hours, Now Poisoning?

By Lindsay Welnick
February 23, 2012 - News

Global consumer watchdog group SumOfUs led a delegation of Apple consumers to Apple’s annual shareholder meeting today.

Dozens of protestors gathered outside, calling for a so-called "ethical iPhone," while representatives in the shareholder meeting attempted to deliver 300,000 signatures on a petition requesting Apple improve working conditions in its factories.

Lanie Wieland, a SumOfUs member and one of the petition's signers, attended the AGM and feels obligated to oppose Apple's factory working conditions.

“I want to be able to buy Apple products with pride," Wieland said.

The actions come after SumOfUs yesterday released a letter from two Chinese workers who claim to have been poisoned by neurotoxin n-hexane at an Apple supplier’s iPhone factory last year. The workers were among 137 workers who were allegedly injured by n-hexane, which causes eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation, as well as nerve damage.

“We have been pressuring Apple and its new CEO, Tim Cook, for years to compensate those of us who were injured working for them," Rui-Qiang and Jing-Chuan said.

SumOfUs has held events outside Apple stores over the past couple of weeks to draw attention to their concerns. Apple last week called in the Fair Labor Association to audit some of its Asian factories, but said it was not prompted by the media attention.

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