Germany: A Former Employee of Volkswagen Changchun China Writes to the CEO of the Parent Company in Germany

From 2000 to 2003, at least ten Falun Gong practitioners in China were dismissed by FAW-Volkswagen Co. Ltd for practicing Falun Gong. The headquarters of the company in Germany keeps silent about such wrongdoing. A former engineer in FAW-VW of Changchun wrote to the CEO Mr.Pischetsrieder. The following is a translation of the letter:

Dear Dr. Pischetsrieder,

I am writing to you in order to ask you and the directors of VW Company to pay special attention to the current survival conditions of some dismissed employees of the FAW-VW as a Falun Gong practitioner and to request your help as the CEO of the VW Group.

I'm a former engineer in FAW-VW of Changchun,and was dismissed under an evasive excuse of being absent from work over three days, but actually for the real reason of practising Falun Gong. FAW-VW is considered to be one of the most profitable firms in the North-East area, actually no one is willing to quit their career in FAW-VW. But during 1999 to 2003,at least ten Falun Gong practitioner staffs listed but not limited to as below,were dismissed for refusing to give up their belief in Falun Gong.

Mr. Ren Yue-Qiang : worked in the Passenger Car Plant, dismissed in the fall of 1999 for reading a Falun Gong scripture in his dormitory.

Mr. Wang Yong-Qing : worked in the Marketing department, arrested for giving out information revealing the concealed the facts of Falun Gong to the public in the fall of 2001 and sentenced to four years imprisonment; dismissed whereupon by FAW-VW.

Mrs. Deng Hong ; Mrs. Tian Yan ; Mrs. Li Hai-Feng : worked in the Production department, made a peaceful plea to the public in Oct. 2000 for the unjust treatment they received from the CCP regime but were arrested and sent to a forced labour jail. Unable to go back to work due to the unlawful detention, they were dismissed in December 2000.

Mr. Li Rong-Ze (a Korean-Chinese. Mrs. Li Ming-Xia : worked in the Transmission Plant. For making an appeal to the higher authorities and distributing information about the true circumstances of Falun Gong to the public, they were condemned to imprisonment for three years. Unable to go back to work due to the detention, they were dismissed in December 2000.

Mr. Wang Jian ; Mr. Jiang Long-Sheng : worked in the Passenger Car Plant. In March 2002, arrested for no particular reason on the way back home from work during the period of the Excessive Catching Action for Falun Gong practitioner induced by the so called Changchun TV interposing incident; dismissed by FAW-VW.

Mr. Jiang Wan-Chen : worked in the Logistic Department, arrested in summer 2001 and sent to a forced labour camp for one year for giving out information about the facts of Falun Gong to the public; dismissed by FAW-VW.

FAW-VW has never as yet given us a formal written document indicating the real reason for dismissing us. We are only informed through an oral channel that we were laid off for violating the regulations of the company. That’s only a disguise manipulated by the Human Resource Department and the Chinese General Manager to cover up the fact that these Falun Gong staffs were laid off for the reason of defending their civil rights guaranteed by the constitution. The words from the Labour Union Chairman of the time, Mr. Lu Liang-Sheng, revealed a fact, “We are claiming this is not for the reason of Falun Gong, but by any means is for the reason of Falun Gong”, every one knows that this is an immediate consequence of practicing Falun Gong. Great mental and physical harms were thus brought to these employees, to their families and to their friends. At least one of them got divorced consequently.

Unfortunately, the Volkswagen headquarters in Germany hears nothing of these scandals happening in Volkswagen China. China is already Volkswagen’s second largest market outside of Germany.

Volkswagen's presence in China has grown steadily. The objectives of China letting in the investment from Germany and other Western nations at a cost of lowering the value of natural sources and sacrificing the interests of labourers, should not be considered the only aim to increase the social wealth, more importantly, but to take in a showcase of western democracy civilisation amidst a tyrannical environment. As the largest car manufacture in Europe, Volkswagen should take on the moral responsibility of promoting humanitarian values instead of being manipulated by the local regime. If Volkswagen still sticks to this state of connivance, it is deemed to be rejected by the on-coming democratic China as a beneficiary of the CCP' s tyrannical regime.

As we know, during the Second World War, some twenty thousand forced labourers worked at Volkswagenwerk. In September 1998, in recognition of the events of that time, the humanitarian fund of Volkswagen AG was established on behalf of those forced labourers compelled to work at Volkswagen during the Second World War. Furthermore, the Memorial in remembrance of the forced labour was also established at Wolfsburg to keep alive the sentiment often expressed among Western nations following World War II “never again” - meaning that a state-sponsored genocide like the one committed against the Jewish people in Germany should never be repeated.

Miserably enough, we are witnessing that such kind of thing is exactly happening again in China today. Hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally arrested and detained. More than five hundred have been sentenced to prison terms of up to eighteen years. Several thousand Falun Gong practitioners have been forced into mental hospitals, an act condemned by World Psychiatric Association. Over one hundred thousand have been illegally sent to labour camps without trial. More than 1,000 deaths of Falun Gong practitioners caused by the persecution in police custody have been confirmed and more are being uncovered day in, day out, though sources inside the Chinese government have disclosed that the actual number is many times higher. More than 2898 practitioners have been verified as being tortured to death. FAW-VW by their actions has facilitated this persecution.

We understand that the behavior of German enterprises in China is inevitably dominated to some extent by the German Government policies toward China. During the seven years of coming into power, Chancellor Schröder implemented a policy of “Commerce before human rights”, thus no accusation against the human rights persecution in China was ever heard in public, for he knew that promoting the long term values of democracy might harm the short-term commercial benefits.

Meanwhile, we are also very glad to see that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had changed Germany's long-term stance on China's human rights issues and had begun to take notice of Chinese dissidents. She raised divisive issues of human rights at meetings in Beijing of May in her first visit to China as Chancellor, “I have made it clear that human rights are indivisible,” she said. We are in expectation that German enterprises can respond to her determination and courage, pushing for democracy in China. For over a decade, western countries had stuck to the custom of speaking only of China's economy and avoiding the subject of China's human rights violations, but they are now apparently taking a new diplomatic tack. German Falun Gong Practitioners have written to the Workgroup of Human Rights and Charity Assistance of the Federal Parliament to appeal to their attention on the persecution of Falun Gong. Mr. MdB Hermann Gröhe, the Chairman of the Workgroup, Mr. Markus Lackamp, the principal for human rights policies, Mr. MdB Alois Karl and Mr. MdB Thomas Silberhorn have given back their active responses. In his response letter, Mr. MdB Alois Karl wrote, “According to my personal experiences, details in individual human violation cases should be particularly stressed. We should not underestimate the significance of describing each individual case precisely, so that my colleagues and I can have talks to the commissaries from these countries, and deliver the necessary assistances to the victims directly.”

We believe that German enterprises are able to make big achievements in pushing for the democracy in China. One of the most tangible actions you can take is to boycott the persecution against your employees. By doing this,you will be respected in China from a historical view.

1. Urge the German General Manager of FAW-VW to investigate the persecution happening in Changchun, look into the current survival and health condition of those dismissed Falun Gong employees, resume their employment and compensate them for what they suffered.

2. Pay attention to an on going labour dispute lawsuit against FAW-VW brought by one of the former employees of FAW-VW, and give your moral support.

3. Let every member of the Directorate of VW in Germany knows what’s happening in Changchun.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely yours,

A former employee of FAW-VW

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