“We live an open-minded and cosmopolitan approach and are delighted at every opportunity to share our mindset and experience with others. . . . Challenge xenophobia and populism wherever they rear their head. Join the cause to preserve our democratic values.”
At the beginning of 2020, the Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed business unit in Radebeul joined a growing number of globally active companies and organisations from the region in the association ‘Businesses for a Cosmopolitan Saxony.’ As a member of this association, the company will be supporting a range of concrete measures aimed at promoting the integration of refugees and migrants in local business and industry.
Already in the past, Koenig & Bauer has placed its weight behind efforts to promote democracy and tolerance and to assist the integration of refugees. In 2015, for example, two young refugees from Pakistan, who had been forced to flee their home country for political and religious reasons, were accepted into vocational training at the company and began an apprenticeship as mechatronics technicians. After passing the final examinations set by the Dresden Chamber of Industry and Commerce last year, they were subsequently offered permanent contracts to work in the press assembly centre.
In the meantime, a 32-year-old engineer from Syria has also taken up employment at Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, initially on a time-limited basis. He used to live on the outskirts of Damascus and came to Germany at the beginning of 2016. Since August 2018, he has been working as a draughtsman in the design group responsible for large-format sheetfed offset presses.
Staff from Koenig & Bauer travel regularly to countries all over the world, whether for sales negotiations, press installations or service assignments, or to participate at international trade fairs and similar events. At the same time, customers and partners from the most diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds are frequent visitors to Radebeul. They come to obtain the latest information at first hand, to finalise agreements or to complete the factory acceptance of a purchased press, for example. Ralf Sammeck, CEO of Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, emphasizes the special relationship, “We live an open-minded and cosmopolitan approach and are delighted at every opportunity to share our mindset and experience with others.”
This sometimes also happens very publicly. At a number of home games of the local football club Dynamo Dresden last season, Koenig & Bauer used the touchline advertising boards to champion an open-minded and tolerant society. Ralf Sammeck hopes that his call will be heeded not only by his employees, but indeed by all Saxons: “Challenge xenophobia and populism wherever they rear their head. Join the cause to preserve our democratic values.”
This is important, a leading press manufacturer taking a stand & speaking out on social issues. It is gratifying as a printer to read & hear this. Printers have historically stood for the spread of science & knowledge, communication and information so that society evolves in a positive direction for the widest number of people possible. It is up to us to use print for science, for democratic argument and persuasion and against violence of every kind.
There is much to be done, even in the so-called post-industrial societies & certainly in our own developing countries. Print does a lot of heavy lifting in education, science & culture. If we use it even more creatively it can do more. Printers must stand for tolerance and open-minded discussion.