Local Newscast - Apple Petition by Jayme Catsouphes published on 2012-02-15T01:51:04Z HOST: Apple Store managers in major cities around the world, today, received a stack of papers bearing a quarter million signatures demanding Apple improve working conditions for employees in its manufacturing plants. KALW’s Jayme Catsouphes reports from near San Francisco’s Union Square. -- CATSOUPHES: At Apple’s flagship store in downtown San Francisco, representatives of Change [dot] org and the Apple retail workers union handed the documents to general manager Larry Verder. VERDER [apple store manager] [3:19-:22]: Is that it? That’s quite a bit actually. Well thanks guys, thanks for bringing this up. CATSOUPHES: The petition was inspired by recent reports of workplace abuses in Shenzhen, China, where many high tech components are made. Change [dot] org communications manager Charlotte Hill says she has an iPhone and a MacBook but doesn’t want to be complicit in worker abuses. HILL [1:16-1:33]: 17sec As much as we love Apple we would love it so much more if we could trust that our products were being made by workers who were working regular hours who werent suffering from loss of the use of their hands, or from swollen legs or from neurological damage from chemicals being used in these factories. CATSOUPHES: And Change [dot] org CEO Ben Rattray says it’s not just about Apple. RATTRAY: [:40-50] If Apple changes its policies, it doesn’t change one company, because the iconic nature of this company, it changes two, and then ten, and then hundreds. CATSOUPHES: Apple issued a response the the protest, saying, “We insist that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made. Our suppliers must live up to these requirements if they want to keep doing business with Apple.” And Apple has made recent changes. Last month, the company joined the Fair Labor Association, which will independently report on workplace conditions in the factories of Apple’s suppliers. For KALW News, I’m Jayme Catsouphes, in San Francisco.