Today, 30 December 2009, your Huizhou-based subsidiary Huizhou Power Pack Co. Ltd dismissed Wang Fengping for her alleged leading role in a street meeting on 9 December. Wang Fengping’s dismissal follows the earlier detention of four of your employees, including Ms. Wang, by the local authorities for their alleged inciting of fellow workers to block a main road in protest at conditions at your factory.
On 22 December 2009, four employees of the Huizhou Power Pack Co. Ltd were summoned to the Xiaojinkou Township police station to assist in an investigation into the road-blocking incident. The four included two women and two men: Wang Fengping, Chen Hongxia Chen Yinxin, and an unidentified colleague. Police accused them of inciting the workers to block the road and announced that they would be detained for ten days as punishment. All four denied the accusation and refused to sign the warrant on the grounds that the charges were groundless. At approximately six o’clock the same evening the police forcibly transported the workers to a detention centre. Despite suffering from a kidney disease that she believes was caused by having to work with cadmium while working at your company, Wang Fengping was refused permission to go to the toilet and had no choice but to urinate in the police vehicle. Police later released her on account of her medical condition. At the time of writing, the three other workers remain in detention.
From December 8 to 10, approximately 1,000 workers from the Huizhou Power Pack Co. Ltd took strike action. During this protest a nearby main road was briefly blocked. Your company has exploitation of these workers led to their desperate actions, hence you bear the moral responsibility for the detention of the four employees (for details of the background of these actions, please refer to our open letter to you on December 14 letter).
Furthermore, we consider the right of assembly a basic constitutional right and should not be an occasion for the detention of your employees. Far from allowing your subsidiary to act as an accomplice in the detention, we call on you and Gold Peak to assist in the immediate release of the three workers still in detention and to reinstate Wang Fengping.
Meanwhile, in our previous open letter to your company, we asked you to begin immediate negotiations with workers’ representatives on the basis of transparency and equality. To date, neither you, nor your company, have responded to this letter. This is hardly in keeping with the conduct expected of a publicly-listed company.
In the spirit of openness and good faith, we put the following demands to Gold Peak:
Immediate reinstatement of Wang Fengping;
Negotiate with the Xiaojinkou police station to arrange for an immediate and unconditional release of the unjustly detained workers; and that your company pay these four workers normal wages during their period of detention;
Issue a public statement explaining your position on the incident;
Immediately initiate negotiation with all employees or their representatives in good faith to resolve disputes over wages and benefits;
Review Power Pack’s policy of paying workers just 33 yuan per day and issue guarantees on lawful, work-related benefits;
Launch a public, transparent inquiry on beating of one of your employees by security guards injured one of the workers that sparked the strike in December. Pending the result of this investigation, disciplinary action should be taken against the perpetrators of violence and an apology issued to the worker;
Meet your moral responsibility to cover the medical costs of the worker hospitalised as a result of the attack. This incident is a direct result of management practices at your factory in Huizhou.
Globalization Monitor Ltd.
Asia Monitor Resource Centre
Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese
December 31, 2009