India: Workers on tea plantations in Assam part-owned by Tata/Tetley allege labour abuses - intimidation of those raising concerns

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Article
19 August 2014

Minimum wage violations perpetuate modern-day feudalism on Assam's tea plantations

Author: Nazdeek

Assam houses nearly 800 plantations and more than 100,000 smaller tea produce 52% of all tea in India and almost 1/6th of the world’s tea. Similar to gardens which together West Bengal, colonial-era labor structures, a faulty trade union, and corporate greed enable unjust wages that not only go against Indian labor laws, but also result in gross violations of workers’ human rights under the Indian Constitution. Assam leads the country in maternal mortality, and workers suffer from high malnutrition, poor sanitation, and low literacy levels. Even ignoring accounts of child labor and allegations of human trafficking, the devastating poverty alone is enough to account for an unacceptable number of worker’s deaths on tea plantations every year...In Assam, tea workers earn Rs. 94 per day (about 1.50 USD). This is far below the state’s statutory minimum wage for unskilled laborersof Rs. 169 per day.  

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Company response
17 July 2013

Response by Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd: Workers on tea plantations in Assam part-owned by Tata/Tetley allege labour abuses & intimidation of those raising concerns.

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Company response
16 July 2013

Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd response

Author: Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd response

Amalgamated Plantations Pvt. Ltd. (APPL) is a Company managed by its Board of Directors. Its stake holders include Tata Global Beverages Pvt. Ltd. / International Finance Corporation and its Employees. As a responsible company, APPL is the only plantation company to be SA 8000 certified and is ISO 22000 certified for a majority of its estates, balance in progress and has conducted Occupational Health & Safety Audits at all its units. ..APPL conforms to all State laws such as the Plantation Labour Act and other acts…APPL’s management placed before the Compliance Advisory Ombudsman (CAO) of IFC its views on issues raised by the three NGOs earlier in 2013 which are of a general nature affecting the plantation industry as a whole.

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Article
5 July 2013

Tea Plantation Workers Call on Tata and Tetley to Stop Human Rights Abuses [India]

Author: Jayshree Satpute, Nazdeek & Komala Ramachandra, Accountability Counsel

Workers on Tata’s Tetley tea plantations in northeast India…demand the company respect their human rights on World Bank-financed plantations. Workers’ complaint to the World Bank calls on the Bank to ensure the end of inhumane working and living conditions, and coercion and pressure of workers on the plantations…workers, says, “Tata is not only in violation of its contract with the World Bank, but is also denying the basic human rights guaranteed to the workers under the Indian Constitution and domestic laws" [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited - which operates the plantations - to respond; the response is included below].

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