Caught with their hand in the cookie jar! Following the revelations of the US Environment Protection Agency, the Volkswagen Group had to admit to fraud. Eleven million of its diesel vehicles worldwide have been programmed to reduce polluting emissions during certification tests. But on the road, these cars emit up to 35 times more polluting gases.
Volkswagen’s CEO, who has since resigned, claimed not to be responsible for this gigantic fraud. Not seen, he escapes clean. He may leave with €60 million, after pocketing for years an annual salary of €15 million. The workers dismissed for misconduct, thrown out on the basis of a mere suspicion, will appreciate the employers’ leniency when it comes to one of theirs.
One scandal follows another
Volkswagen isn’t the only one to play with standards. All automakers, including the French, “optimize” the engine for the tests. In other words, they use devices to reduce polluting emissions during certification tests without worrying about reducing emissions during normal use, when pollution levels explode. They couldn’t care less that our lungs and the environment are paying the price.
Automobile bosses are not the only ones to cheat. Lying is widespread in the whole capitalist economy. It is even the ABC of making profits. From lasagna with horse meat to the deadly drug Mediator, to the PIP breast implants, bosses cheat everywhere! Not to mention tax evasion and the long list of financial scandals for which, when someone is found to be responsible, it is the one trader Jerome Kerviel that Société Générale sacrifices to save the system he represents.
The first victims of this carelessness are the workers. How many workers died because of asbestos, the dangers of which were known but minimized by bosses and governments? Even today, the poisoning continues. When the danger can no longer be denied because an accident took place, as after the explosion of the AZF plant in Toulouse, the power of a multinational like Total, with its army of lawyers, is put in motion to exonerate the company.
The bosses also lie to hide their plans from the workers. When a union revealed the secret plan to close the PSA Aulnay plant, PSA bosses denied it for one year… before they eventually implemented it.
The irresponsible in the driver’s seat
During each of these scandals, the authorities focus on the immorality of a few executives. Of course. Especially since they are the same who go on and on about their so-called “market” economy, an economy for exploiters and profiteers, in which morality has no place.
To gain market share, anything is fair game… as long as they do not get caught. The aim is obviously to reach maximum profit to satisfy shareholders. Cost reduction is a priority, which means saving on product quality, safety, working conditions, wages and jobs, and also on environment protection. Existing regulations do not change the fact that bosses remain the uncontrolled masters in their factories.
The Volkswagen scandal is just an example of fraud implemented by the large capitalist groups in their race for profits. Apart from the small minority of great bourgeois, we are all losers in this race… until we decide to overthrow this sick system and those who represent it.