Thursday, November 12, 2020

Volkswagen denies using forced labor at at Xinjiang plant, but can't say if its workers had been in a camp


The company was founded by the ruling German Nazi Party in 1937 and used forced labour - including concentration camp prisoners - in its factories during WWII.


"What happened in the Nazi times was something that happened in our factories where we had forced labour, people producing Volkswagen cars," [Volkswagen's CEO] said.

"This certainly is an unacceptable situation. Therefore, we are making sure that none of our production sites have forced labour, and this is something that we specifically checked in Urumqi and I can assure you, we do not have forced labour."

But when asked whether he could be absolutely certain of that claim and give an assurance that none of the Urumqi workforce - of which around 25% is made up of Uighurs and other minorities - had been in a camp, [the CEO] said he couldn't.


"I would say everything that is happening outside the fences of all of our production sites all over China and what is happening in the spare time of our employees is out of our control."