United States: Falun Gong Practitioners Call on All Western Companies in China to Uphold Human Rights

According to recent reports, U.S. cosmetics company Mary Kay Inc. said it has revised its sales force agreement in China to bring it in concert with practices in the more than 30 other international markets where the company operates.

At the same time, Falun Gong practitioners call on all Western companies that are investing in Mainland China to join Marcy Kay Inc. in upholding basic human rights.

According to a report on Business Wire November 20, 2003 report from Dallas, that approximately two months ago, Mary Kay China developed a pledge for its sales force members to sign that acknowledged they must conduct their Mary Kay business in accordance with Chinese law. That pledge is no longer in use and has been superseded by the revised sales force agreement. The pledge referenced Falun Gong as an example of an organization or activity considered illegal by the Chinese government.

The report in Business Wire stated: Mary Kay China's intent was not to single out any organization or activity, but rather to provide clarity to the pledge. When Mary Kay Inc. learned that the pledge was not being interpreted as intended, the company worked with Mary Kay China to bring its sales force agreement in line with the agreements the company uses in other international markets.

According to reports made earlier by several overseas media, Mary Kay Inc. has 120,000 sales employees in China, and some of them practice Falun Gong. Two months ago, under pressure from the "610 Office," a Mary Kay subsidiary in Shenzhen City required that all employees either sign a "behavioural standards statement," or be forced to leave the company. Several employees lost their jobs because they refused to sign such a statement. On November 17, three U.S. Congress members Chris Smith (Vice Chairman of Committee on International Relations), Tom Lantos (Ranking Democratic Member), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Chair of Subcommittee on Middle East and Central Asia) wrote to Mr. Richard R. Rogers, Chairman and CEO of Mary Kay Inc. to request a revocation of the requirement imposed by Mary Kay China on its sales associates to sign "behavioural standards statements" that specifically mention Falun Gong or any religious, spiritual or political movement. After receiving the letter from the Congressional Members, Mary Kay Inc. said that it's paying serious attention to this incident and has taken numerous steps to resolve this issue. The agreement is no longer being used. An amended agreement replaced the controversial one, and the new agreement did not cite any specific group or organization.

Some observers believe that the U.S. cosmetics company Mary Kay Inc. is a victim of the terrorist organization, the "610 Office," which was established by Jiang for the sole purpose of persecuting Falun Gong. Mary Kay Inc. 's experience in China tells us that since government work, company profits and even students' education are forcibly linked with Falun Gong, the truth about Falun Gong is something every investor must learn.

Successful companies have certain behavioural regulations for their employees, to ensure its business operations are legal and moral. Because of the current depth and scope of the persecution against Falun Gong carried out by the Chinese government, as well as the illegitimacy of current laws and policies, letting every employee thoroughly learn the truth about Falun Gong is vital for every company that has business relations with China or has Chinese employees.

As the U.S. company Mary Kay Inc. has stopped using the agreement, Falun Gong practitioners call on all Western companies that invest in China to join together to protect their employees' human rights, especially freedom of belief and freedom of speech.

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