Tourists wandering into Apple Stores in six cities around the globe found themselves in the middle of a media storm about the Cupertino company’s labor policies in China.
Members of two protests groups, who say they represent Apple customers, delivered petitions they claim are 245,000 signatures strong. Change.org and SumOfUs delivered petitions to Apple Stores today in Washington, DC, New York, San Francisco, London, Sydney and Bangalore.
Though the San Francisco protest appears as tiny as the one in New York, it did have one participant of note: Apple retail worker Cory Moll, who works at the downtown store.
“I was there to show solidarity,” Moll told Cult of Mac. He also wanted to “get my name behind that effort as well as the name of the Apple Retail Workers Union… though the issues we’re facing are a far cry from what the workers in China face.”
Moll, who, according to his LinkedIn profile, has worked at Apple since October 2007, also heads up an organization called the Apple Retail Workers Union. The organization, founded in May 2011, aims to better working conditions at Apple Stores.
Moll’s photos of the protest, some of the first to surface on Twitter, show a few of the petition organizers surrounded by media. The protest started at 10 am and by 10:32, Moll reported that “All is quiet again,” at the Apple Store.
He hopes his efforts will galvanize other Apple retail workers to speak up and does not fear for his job.
“The fact that I’ve been talking about it since May and I haven’t been fired speaks volumes,” Moll said. “Apple is very aware of our rights to speak publicly… I take full advantage of the rights and liberties we enjoy in this country to be able to do that.”
Although Apple just one of the global tech companies who make their must-have devices at the Foxconn plant, it is largely taking the heat for the working conditions there.
“I have been a lifelong Apple customer and was shocked to learn of the abusive working conditions in many of Apple’s supplier factories,” said Mark Shields, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “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.”