Apple has received some slack of late over the perceived conditions of the Chinese workers who build its hugely popular products. With the eyes of the world currently firmly fixed on the likes of Foxconn, people are beginning to look more closely at the real cost of building our iPhones and iPads.

An online petition, set up to urge Apple to protect its Chinese workers has received 162,000 signatures in just over a week, with the number continuing to grow.

Allegations of unsafe working conditions and long hours have been rife of late, with Apple’s main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, at the center of the issue…

Started by a Washington DC communications consultant named Mark Shields, the petition asks Apple to release a “worker protection strategy.”

“We ask that Apple release a worker protection strategy for new product releases, which are the instances when injuries and suicides typically spike because of the incredible pressure to meet quotas timed to releases.”

Apple’s current levels of cash, along with huge sales numbers for the iPhone and iPad, have left the company as the focus of recent ire, with the New York Times recently publishing a lengthy piece on the subject.

What everyone seems to be forgetting thus far however, is that Apple is not the only company using cheap Chinese labor. It is, however, currently the one making the most money.

While writing a name on a petition is all very worth while, we can’t help but wonder how many keyboard warriors are actually willing to vote with their wallet – how many are willing to boycott their technological toys in order to make a stand?

We’re willing to bet it won’t be that many.