SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Petitions were delivered to Apple stores in San Francisco and other cities around the world Thursday calling on the tech giant to do more to improve working conditions at its factories overseas.

“We want to know that the next time we come into Apple to buy a fancy new tech gadget that it was made not by workers who were suffering from these horrific work place abuses in factories like Foxconn,” said Charlotte Hill with Change.org, the organization behind the petition drive.

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KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Hill and other activists delivered what they said were 250,000 signatures the old fashioned way to the Apple store in Union Square. Manager Larry Verter cordially accepted the stack of signatures and said he would forward them to his corporate office.

The petitions were launched in January after a series of reports in the New York Times documented harsh workplace conditions at several Apple factories in China.

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“They’re working with these really cheap chemicals that are causing really severe neurological damage. We say no iPhone is worth that cost,” Hill said.

In a written statement, Apple defended measures taken to ensure the workers in its supply chain were treated fairly. The company said it audited 229 supplier facilities in 2011, and posted the results of those audits on its website.

“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,” the statement reads.

It also notes that Apple was the first technology company admitted to the Fair Labor Association, a leading non-profit dedicated to improving conditions for workers around the world. Apple said an independent FLA audit of its suppliers would soon be published online.

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