On Friday, 28 June 2019, Spiegel+ published an article under the headline “Lübeck-based Possehl Group – This is how the forced labourers live who manufacturer our computer chips” and continues with the subheading “In Malaysia’s electronics industry, labourers were kept in debt bondage. Most recently, the cover was blown off the subsidiary of a German-based company.”
With this headline, the Spiegel conveys the impression that our Malaysian Electronics subsidiary has been involved in illegal activities, human rights violations and possibly even forced labour. In this connection, we hereby state the following: Our subsidiary in Malaysia was not, at any time, involved in cases of forced labour or violations of human rights or law.
In the article, the Spiegel itself writes that our subsidiary in Malaysia has “fallen victim to a company” that has possibly failed to comply with statutory laws. Neither does the article mention any violations of law conducted by Possehl’s subsidiary, nor have any such violations ever occurred. On the contrary: In addition to having paid the invoices issued by the temporary employment agency, we paid the outstanding wages to the temporary workers directly – voluntarily and before the article was published by the Spiegel. Moreover, it remains unclear in this article whether or not the temporary employment agency commissioned by us has committed any violation of law at all.
We deplore and disapprove of the Spiegel’s approach to deliberately create such a false and defamatory impression. Furthermore, we entirely fail to comprehend the conduct of the editor, as we have made all the facts available to him.
Lübeck, 1 July 2019
The Executive Board