Friday, 5 September 2014

Brazil: Volkswagen spied on workers in 1980s

Reuters is reporting that German carmaker Volkswagen spied on union activists and passed sensitive information to Brazil's dictatorship in the 1980s.

VW covertly monitored workers and other unionists including former president Lula.

The news agency reports that the country's truth commission has uncovered documents Volkswagen gave to the military in 1983 and 1984.
In the documents, Volkswagen provided extensive accounts of more than a dozen union meetings in Greater São Paulo. The company relayed workers' plans for strikes as well as their demands for better salaries and working conditions. The company reported the names of Volkswagen workers who attended union events and, in at least two cases, noted the make and license plate numbers of vehicles present.
It's long been known that big companies - not just Volkswagen - were in cahoots with South America's military regimes, but there hasn't been much legal redress so some firm evidence on this would be really good.

This story is being covered in Spanish-language, Brazilian and German press, but all media are just referring to the Reuters report:

Exclusive: Volkswagen spied on Lula, other Brazilian workers in 1980s (Reuters)

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