IBM Advised to Treat its People with Humanism in China

As more information related to the Yuan Yipeng vs. IBM case is flowing in, the Beijing Yirenping Center, an NGO which works to promote the equality of socially vulnerable groups, has revealed startling facts about IBM’s unethical behaviour in China.

By Rakesh Raman

In an e-mail dated September 18, 2011 to me at Raman Media Network, Mr. Lu Jun, a Standing Board Member of Beijing Yirenping Center said: “As to Yuan Yipeng’s case, we haven’t involved any longer since the autumn of 2008 because both Yuan Yipeng and IBM persist their opinion and refuse to make any change. We realized that this case is beyond our ability, even though our organization is the most experienced anti-discrimination NGO in China.” Lu Jun is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Civil Society Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.  

While Yuan just wants his job back, why is IBM callous in its approach? Lu Jun explains with a letter of July 2008 through which Beijing Yirenping Center had urged IBM to treat its depressed employee with humanism.

Among other things, the said letter revealed that in the February of 2008, IBM China dismissed Yuan Yipeng with unproven excuses. And on 18th June, 2008, Shanghai Pudong court had given the order to IBM China for “resuming the contract and the original job post of Yuan Yipeng immediately.” Raman Media Network is in possession of the court order.

However, when I contacted IBM a week ago for this case (which is now on our RMN Community Court service), IBM could not give any satisfactory reply. The company only said that ““The People’s Court of the Shanghai Pudong ruled that IBM does not have any legal obligation to arrange employment for Mr Yuan Yipeng.”

If IBM is telling the truth, it must produce that court order. And if IBM has ignored any court order, then what action have Chinese authorities taken against the company?

[ Also Read: Why is IBM Angry with Yuan Yipeng of China? ]

While IBM has not yet produced any evidence to support its claims, Beijing Yirenping Center believes that “conducting as a law-abiding multi-national company, IBM must order its China branch to abide laws of China with ‘Trust’ and respect the court order with ‘Trust’.”

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the local police station is dilly-dallying to register Yuan’s complaint in which he alleges that his mother was forcibly taken away on June 16 this year when she was protesting peacefully in front of IBM office to support her son’s demand for the job.

[ Also Read: China Bullying Others to Boycott Nobel Ceremony ]

According to Beijing Yirenping Center, the IBM actions of exerting pressures on Yuan Yipeng have already given great pain and harm to him, and already resulted in an aggravation of his illness state. “It Is a Total Inhumanity!” the Center said while urging IBM to order its China branch to “abide the basic humanism, give plenty of consideration of the special psychical needs of depressed people, for the sake of employee’s life.”

Will IBM listen? Can’t say. While IBM is tightlipped, Raman Media Network is expecting more details from other sources to reveal the truth in this case so that justice is done. So, stay tuned.

By Rakesh Raman, the managing editor of Raman Media Network.

Photo courtesy: The above picture is provided by Yuan Yipeng. In the picture, his parents are believed to be protesting in front of IBM facility to support their son’s efforts to take his job back.   

Meanwhile, in its constant endeavour to bridge the digital divide and take the technology benefits to the masses – particularly the have-nots – Raman Media Network (RMN) has launched its RMN Community Court service. The free global service acts as an online interface between warring parties to find out amicable solutions to different types of conflicts.

You can also file your complaints to take help from this service. Click here for details.

Similarly, you can join “Catch the Corrupt: A Service for the Masses” initiative launched by Raman Media Network.

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Rakesh Raman