Chinese Volkswagen workers call on German parent company to look into legal violations and its own Global Framework Agreement on agency work. They've been demanding equal pay and treatment for over half a year.
Letter of Solidarity from German trade unionists to China's Volkswagen workers
August 1stVolkswagen Gruppe China
No. 3A, Xi Liu Jie, Sanlitun Road
District de Chaoyang
Beijing 100027, PR Chine
Telefon: +86 10 65313000
Ladies and Gentlemen!
We learned from the coverage of the China Labor Bulletin of 6 June that thousands of temporary workers at VW in China have been fighting for their rights for months.
Now, three workers as representatives of the VW factory in Changchun were arrested by the police and accused.
They are accused of having "gathered a multitude of people to disrupt social order."
So far, two of the workers' representatives have been released, while the third is still in custody.
At FAW-Volkswagen in Changchun, more than 3.000 employees are working as temporary workers. Many of them have been working there for more than 10 years.
The workers receive only about half of the wage and none of the benefits of full-time workers.
Towards the end of last year, the workers had started a long campaign for equal pay, including legal action, demonstrations and an online petition.
But they were pressured by the police, received only hesitant responses from the senior staff, and met the resistance of the management.
Since their action in February, the workers have reported about increased police surveillance, as well as increasing pressure from the management on the workers' representatives.
Through social networks, they explained that the management had forced them to change their jobs or increased their workload. Many workers said the police had called and monitored them.
A demonstration, planned by the workers for May, to draw attention to their concerns, was canceled by police pressure.
But on the 21st of May, the colleagues organized a demonstration at the same time as the marathon in Changchun took place.
Three workers' representatives, Fu Tianbo, Wang Shuai and Ai Zhenyu, were then arrested on May 26th in investigative custody and accused because of disrupting public order.
Wang and Ai have now been released, but further court action against them is possible, while Fu is still under investigation.
We ask you, as Managing Director and Managing Director of FAW-Volkswagen, to respect the fundamental democratic rights of workers, in the first place the right to independent organization, free negotiations and strike.
We urge you to cease all repressive measures and the further judicial persecution of the workers' representatives Fu Tianbo, Wang Shuai and Ai Zhenyu.
We have informed our union IG Metall in Frankfurt about the persecution and suppression of the trade union rights of temporary workers at FAW-Volkswagen Changchun.
Matthias Cornely (IGM, works council chairman)
Christophe Hassenforder (IGM, works council chairman, member of the board of directors of the IGM office Bonn Rhein-Sieg)
Richard Klefisch (IGM, works council chairman*)
Paul Paternoga (IGM, former works council chairman and member of the Supervisory Board)