India - BBC report confirms appalling conditions on Assam's tea plantations
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has produced a shocking report on working conditions on Assam's tea estates, which provide tea for many of the world's leading companies.The report states "Living and working conditions are so bad, and wages so low, that tea workers and their families are left malnourished and vulnerable to fatal illnesses".
The journalists found "disregard for health and safety, with workers spraying chemicals without protection, and on some estates, child labour being used".
IUF General Secretary Ron Oswald welcomed the BBC exposé of the conditions behind the UK's favourite beverage, saying "This is not news to us but confirms what we have been saying for many years. We alerted the BBC journalists who contacted to us in preparation for the report to look for precisely these kinds of abuses, which we know to be widespread. We urge tea packing companies to come to the table now to talk directly with us and Assam's tea workers about what must be done urgently to ensure living wages, decent working conditions and respect for the human rights of tea plantation workers".