The protests against Apple's worker mistreatment practice are surging wave upon wave. A recent online petition demands the tech giant to take further steps in protecting workers and make its next iPhone the first ethical iPhone.

Watchdog group SumOfUs has posted a petition, asking Apple to make the iPhone 5 ethically, after the New York Times published a lengthy report last week about the terrible working conditions in the major Apple product manufacturer Foxconn.

According to the New York Times, the workers in the Chinese factory are under great working pressure. They work excessive overtime - sometimes even seven days a week - and they live in the dormitory.

The working condition is harsh - the workers are exposed to toxic chemicals. Although some explosions accidentally take place from time to time, the statistics and first person accounts suggest conditions have not greatly improved.

Moreover, sometimes the employees have to stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. And their salary is too low, compared to their work.

The dark truth behind Apple's prosperity has stirred a series of strong protests around the world. After SumOfUs put up the online petition, over 35,000 had signed to support the movement in its first 24 hours.

And they have asked Apple to overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers, before the next generation iPhone launches later this year.

Can Apple do this? Absolutely, the petition read. According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in The New York Times, all Apple has to do is demand it, and it'll happen.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent an email to the employees last Thursday, claiming the company cares about the worker's welfare.

We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern, Cook wrote in the email .

Also he said, any suggestion that we don't care is patently false and offensive to us.

If Tim Cook is really offended by these allegations, why isn't he doing anything to fix the problems? executive director of SumOfUs Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman asked in the statement. This is the supply chain he set up as COO - he needs to start taking responsibility, not blaming the messenger.

Will the tech giant accept good advices from the petition? Leave your comment below.