Ralph Nader urges Apple to reduce buybacks, improve wages: WSJ

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 24, 2014 4:36 PM

(Reuters) - Consumer advocate Ralph Nader sent a letter to Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook urging the company to reduce its spending on share buybacks and use the money to raise wages, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"... Poverty wages and harmful conditions are a consequence of tolerating outrageous stock buybacks," wrote the five-time presidential candidate in his letter published by the Journal.

"Designed by Apple in California has a nicer ringer to it than assembled by workers paid about a dollar per hour, working 11-hour shifts, and sleeping eight to a room in the Jabil Circuit corporate dormitories in Wuxi, China," wrote Nader in the letter dated Oct. 23.

Contract electronics maker Jabil's top customers include Apple.

Apple was not immediately available for comment.

Nader's letter comes in contrast to billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn's opinion, who earlier this month urged the iPhone maker's board to buy back more shares using its $133 billion cash pile. [ID:nL3N0S44N6]

Early this month, more than 1,000 employees went on strike at a China factory run by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Foxconn) demanding higher wages and better benefits. Hon Hai assembles Apple's iPhones, iPads and laptops.

(Reporting By Arathy S Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)