The Brazilian subsidiary Volkswagen do Brasil wants to get into the meat business in the 1970s and employs workers on a farm to do so. A current accusation is that they are supposed to live under slave-like conditions. It should be negotiated soon.
A hearing has begun in the Brazilian capital of Brasília about possible slave labor on an Amazon farm owned by a subsidiary of Volkswagen do Brasil in the 1970s and 80s. This was confirmed by the prosecutor responsible, Rafael Garcia Rodrigues. It should also be about any compensation for the workers on the farm and for Brazilian society.
"We can assure you that we take the events described on the Fazenda Rio Cristalino very seriously," said a spokesman for Volkswagen AG when asked when the Brazilian public prosecutor summoned VW do Brasil two weeks ago. However, due to a possible legal process in Brazil, they do not want to comment further. "What happened on the fazenda represents serious human rights violations, also because slave labor was used," said prosecutor Garcia Rodrigues. "As it was owned by Volkswagen, the company is also responsible for it."
He spoke, for example, of inhospitable accommodation on the farm known as "Fazenda Volkswagen" in Santana do Araguaia in the state of Pará. In addition, the workers could not have left the farm.
According to the investigator, the "Fazenda Volkswagen" was one of the largest companies in the rural Amazon region, and the car company wanted to get into the meat business at the time. It was founded in the 1970s and supported by the Brazilian military dictatorship. The farm was around 1390 square kilometers and had around 300 workers. The temporary workers responsible for the clearing, to whom the allegation of slave labor mainly relates, were not directly employed by the subsidiary.