Siemens warns of risks of xenophobia after violent protests in Germany


What will Siemens do?

Siemens is urging its workers to talk out following a collection of violent protests in Germany.

The engineering firm despatched a letter to its 4,300 workers within the German state of Saxony on Tuesday, encouraging them to fight xenophobia and defend Germany’s popularity for tolerance.

“It’s time … to face up for tolerance and compassion and to talk out towards xenophobia and discrimination,” prime regional executives wrote within the letter, which was supplied to CNN.

They stated these ideas have been very important for its international enterprise.

“Financial success as the premise of our prosperity in Germany and Saxony relies upon not least on the popularity we have now amongst our prospects all over the world,” they added.

The intervention by Siemens (SIEGY) is a uncommon instance of company activism by a significant European firm. Siemens has over 375,000 workers, together with roughly 120,000 in Germany.

Germany has been rocked by a collection of protests and counter-demonstrations after a German-Cuban man was allegedly killed by an Iraqi and a Syrian within the jap metropolis of Chemnitz.

Some protesters have been photographed giving the outlawed Nazi salute and others have been seen chanting racist slogans comparable to “Germany for the Germans.”

Siemens managers stated they rejected the goals of protesters, writing that equity, tolerance, respect and dialogue are as vital to its enterprise as engineering experience.

“The picture the world has of Saxony lately is that of hatred and hate, xenophobia and public violation of regulation,” the letter stated. “This isn’t solely disturbing. It makes us offended.”

Joe Kaeser, the chief government of Siemens, denounced a German lawmaker earlier this yr, saying that their nationalism would hurt German prosperity.

“It is a difficult matter,” Kaeser informed the Financial Times in Could. “I am there to signify the corporate and be accountable to the shareholders; however, if individuals flip their head away . . . Nicely, we had that point in Germany. No person spoke up. Then it was too late.”

Chemnitz protest

Siemens was not alone in condemning the protests. The German Chamber of Commerce and Trade stated the occasions in Chemnitz have been “unacceptable from the standpoint of the German economic system.”

Eric Schweitzer, president of the enterprise foyer, stated that xenophobia and nationalism injury the popularity of Germany.

“German firms are energetic all over the world and subsequently rely … on being welcome in different international locations of the world,” he stated in an announcement.

— Nadine Schmidt and Judith Vonberg contributed reporting.

CNNMoney (London) First printed September 5, 2018: 12:08 PM ET

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