various articles published by the Coalition against BAYER-dangers
Protesting shareholders seized and dragged out
At the recent BAYER Annual General Meeting members of BAYER´s environmentalist stockholders´ oppositiongroup appealed to BAYER to make funds available for the compensation of former slave workers used by IG FARBEN, BAYER´s predecessor, under the Nazi forced labour programme. Written by Annette Jensen, editor of the tageszeitung, based in Berlin.
"We are pleased to put before you a successful 1994 balance sheet. Turnover and profits were raised considerably" BAYER chairman Manfred Schneider announced. 13 Deutschmarks per share are to be paid out this year. Putting his hands together in a well-studied gesture the grey-haired man peers at the audience over his glasses. He´s got them. "1994 was good, 1995 will be even better!" he finishes to a round of grateful applause.
But then he has to announce that 41 motions opposing the Management Board have been received. "Without exception they are from COORDINATION AGAINST BAYER DANGERS or their sympathizers." His sweeping gesture indicates displeasure. "The same allegations every year, only slightly updated. Simple statements of opinion that noone at BAYER can share. As far as any fact-based argument was discernable we followed it up. In each case, none of the criticisms could be substantiated."(...)
Late that afternoon, when the press has gone and many shareholders are on their way home, Axel Köhler-Schnura of COORDINATION is finally allowed to the microphone. The man in jeans and checkered shirt is furious. "You argue that BAYER´s Nazi past should have no place at this meeting" he begins his lecture in history, telling the audience of Carl Duisberg, who as General Manager at BAYER was the driving force behind the 1925 merger of Germany´s chemical giants into IG FARBEN. Somebody in the audience grumbles "I can´t stand this. He should go to work". Two bankers, waiting in the pressroom for their coffee, pretend to be bored: "This is an AGM-not a seminar on history". But they have to wait, the voting takes place after the last speach. "IG Farben became the biggest single contributer to Hitler´s party funds and helped him gain power in every conceivable way" Köhler-Schnura states. The microphone falls dead, his next words can´t be heard. Herrmann Strenger of the supervisory board interrupts:" You maintain wrong facts, your statements are insulting". The audience clap hands. Köhler-Schnura is allowed to continue, but not for long. The microphone is turned off again and again, whistling from various directions can be heard, someone shouts "stop it". The speaker of the supervising committee addresses to the audience "don´t let him provoke you". The microphone finally falls dead. What Köhler-Schnura was prevented from saying is that IG Farben had their own concentration camp in Auschwitz where at least 30.000 slave workers perished. Also, IG Farben bought prisoners that were then conducted on living, fully aware human beings suffering unspeakable torture before they died in the process. (...)
The next speaker is Philipp Mimkes, organizer of COORDINATION. Somebody whispers "god, now they are taking over all the microphones". Somebody else: "Get the police. They are pseudo-stockholders. So Strenger acts decidedly and calls to the securitymen. "Please accompany these gentlemen to their seats". 30 men in grey trousers and blue shirts take up the signal. Quickly they walk to the platform, grab Köhler-Schnura and a colleague and drag them out of the hall.
Later the protesters are allowed to vote from outside. 99.96% of the stockholders vote in line with the management and thus against funds for former IG Farben forced labour.
"I believe in our strength"
Strike at BAYER in Belgium. Demands are granted.
Workers at BAYER Polysar Antwerpen (Belgium) succeed in a strike conducted against official government guidelines on industrial action. written by Hubert Ostendorf.
The atmosphere among the 246 workers is loaded.The government and employers have jointly stated that Belgian industry is no longer internationally competitive. So it has been decreed that pay increases are forbidden, and shorter hours can only be allowed if paid for by a reduction in income-a challenge to Belgian workers. On March 23, the workers of BAYER Polysar go on strike. It will last for more than three weeks. More than 67% of the workers vote in favor of the strike, which is then conducted by all except two.
In the end a retirement scheme is agreed upon for 55 year-old workers. The company is no longer allowed to employ sub-contractors. Holidays go up by one or two days, depending on the years of employment, without payment reduction. Christmas money is raised, too.
Genetic waste in rivers?
Dr. Kathrin Grüber, "green" MP at Düsseldorf State Parliament recently demanded further information on whether genetically changed toxics from the Wuppertal BAYER plant are polluting the Emscher and Wupper rivers. Grüber has now received an answer from the state government, but is not happy with it at all: no mention of BAYER, genetically damaging substances have not been found, guidelines have still to be agreed upon, action need not be taken...
Press-activities on poison-gas terrorism
On the occasion of the poison gas attack at Tokyo in March and the use of "Sarin" in it, Coordination against dangers at BAYER has issued: "Sarin belongs to the group of phosphorous ester acid and was developed by Dr Gerhard Schrader in 1938 in the laboratories of BAYER in Wuppertal. Schrader also "invented" E 605 and other deadly pesticides. Later developments of Sarin were the even more poisenous Tabun and Lost- (...)
Documents of the war-trial in Nuremberg prove that BAYER was doing research onTabun and Sarin until 1944."
65.000 jobs killed
Since 1990 the three big chemistrytrusts BASF, HOECHST and BAYER have destroyed 65.000 jobs worldwide. This development is continuing although profits are exploding. In this period BAYER has reduced its staff by 21.000.
Lobbyists rule in Brussels
The Association Of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe (APME) which includes SHELL, ICI, EXXON, HOECHST and BAYER controls to a large extent European Union policies on chemistry. Thus, this lobby lobby succeeded in watering down rules on waste and drinking water. APME recently merged with 20 other interest groups.
AIDS: BAYER denies guilt
A commission of the German parliament examining "HIV contaminated blood products" concluded that companies, authorities and doctors are responsible for the infection of thousands of bleeders with AIDS. The producers of blood products, among them world market leader BAYER, are rejecting this reproach,.probably to minimize payments for a compensation funds. In Germany among 1000 and 1500 bleeders were infected with AIDS by BAYER´s products.
Genetic AIDS therapy
BAYER virologist Dr. Helga Rübsamen-Waigmann informed that new treatments with genetically altered material are tested in the USA. The new medicine was developed in cooperation with HOECHST.
Hepatitis because of bloodproducts?
Vaccines of BAYER USA are suspected of arousing hepatitis C, an inflammation of the liver. The polluted products are, among others, tetanus- and hepatitis B-vaccines.
Children with lice in their hair are usually treated with shampoos. Most parents buy products with the attribute "biological". But caution: most of these Bio-shampoos contain pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are suspected of being carcinogen, the American Environment Board classified them among the 50 most dangerous chemicals.
Deadly poison in Algeria
In the city Oran workers of a small textile factory are suffering from a lungfibrosis. One worker died already, the others can be helped only by a lung transplantation. The sickness is caused by BAYER´s dye ACRAMIN FWN, the same product that caused the Ardestil-syndrome in Spain.
BAYER develops special veterinary products for animals suffering under the conditions of massproduction. Together with companies like HOECHST, CIBA GEIGY, MSD and others BAYER founded the Association for animal health (BfT). BfT again is member in the FEDESA (Federation Europeenne de la Sante Animale), seated in Brussels.
Study shows: bladder-cancer in Leverkusen
In industrialised countries cancer is on advance. Chemistry is around us everywhere, cancer became one of the biggest mortal diseases. The government of Nordrhein Westfalen (western part of germany) recently published a so called "cancer-atlas", which shows the distribution of the various types of cancer in the different regions. The BAYER-cities Krefeld, Leverkusen and Wuppertal are heavily affected.
For example is Krefeld the town with the biggest general cancer risk for women all over. And nowhere else there are as many men dying on mouth- and throat-cancer and cancer in liver, brains, nerves and thyroid gland. In Leverkusen the risk of bladder-cancer is exceptionally high. The same states again for Krefeld and Wuppertal.
Scientists of the University in Düsseldorf say that these developments mostly depend on working expositions with aromatic amins.