Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s chief executive, Tim Cook, should prioritize the welfare of workers in China making its products, Ralph Nader said in a discussion on Fox Business Network.The comment made about the strategy of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) boss regarding his company’s massive trove of cash comes after Nader wrote an open letter urging the company to not prioritize stock buybacks.
“I wrote Tim Cook to say: ‘Look, of all the ways you can use $130 billion, the least productive is to buy back the shares. [It’s] far better to either give the money back in cash [or]dividend to the shareholders and or – it’s not incompatible – improve the working conditions and pay of the Chinese workers. [This way,] maybe they can raise money to buy the iPhones that you manufacture,’” Nader said.
Nonetheless, he said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its CEO has not reached out to him since he releases his open letter. At a later point of the interview, he said that dividends are better than buybacks because they stimulate the economy for a longer period of time because the money investors get are used to pay down debt or increase spending. Furthermore, he alluded to an ethical duty as to why improving work conditions in factories is a must.
“We shouldn’t allow sweatshop [workers]in China to live the way they live and it’s just a horrible life. They have no family life whatsoever. They’re far from their villages. They live wretched housing conditions. The working conditions are not good and you have this giant company piling up cash and wondering what the heck to do with it,” Nader said.
According to Nader, he is forming a group of relatively wealthy investors to be activists in companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Aside from the iPhone maker, Nader said that his group will target companies like Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and some large banks and insurance firms for more corporate responsibility and transparency.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shareholders includes Carl Icahn’s Icahn Capital Lp which reported 52.76 million shares in the company by the end of the second quarter of this year.