Tomorrow could be a rough day outside of a number of Apple retail stores.
We learned Wednesday that an activist group plans to target various Apple stores around the world and circulate what's being called "worker abuse" petitions. The central hub of the effort, however, will take place outside of Apple's new and gargantuan Grand Central Terminal store.
The purpose of the petition circulation, which sounds more like an actual demonstration to some of us, is meant to draw further attention to allegations of human abuses at production facilities that, while not owned by Apple, are still used to manufacture Apple products.
Mark Shields of Washington D.C. is the man behind the movement, which aims to deliver 250,000 signatures of protest to the websites Change.org and SumOfUs.org. Shields says he's just an average Apple customer who was shocked and saddened to learn about the working conditions at facilities like those owned and operated by Foxconn in China.
"I have been a lifelong Apple customer and was shocked to learn of the abusive working conditions in many of Apple’s supplier factories," Shields revealed upon announcing the petition effort this week. "At Foxconn, one of Apple’s biggest manufacturers, there is a history of suicides, abusive working conditions, and almost no pay. These working conditions are appalling, especially for Apple."
In short, the petitions call for an ethical construction of the iPhone 5.
In recent weeks, Apple CEO Tim Cook rejected many of the claims made about Foxconn and said human abuses will not be tolerated by his company. He went on call many of the accusations against Apple's manufacturing partners "patently false and offensive."
No word yet as to why the petition is solely targeting Apple Thursday, and not other tech giants like Microsoft, which also use Foxconn facilities to produce products.