A damning report on working conditions on tea plantations in India has been issued by Columbia University Law School Human Rights Institute. The More Things Change documents “enduring abuses” including sub-standard housing, acute hazards in sanitation and denial of statutory benefits on tea gardens owned by Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd (APPL), which is majority-owned by Tata Global Beverages, part of India’s Tata Group.
The report, based on 3 years of research and visits to 17 out of the 24 APPL plantations, also criticizes the role of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), which has been assisting Tata to divest of its plantation business in India. A full investigation of potential non-compliance with the IFC’s own rules is expected to begin as early as March 2014.
The IUF General Secretary Ron Oswald commented, “The Columbia report confirms IUF’s concerns about working condition on APPL’s Assam’s tea plantations. We made some progress in Nowera Nuddy and will now be looking at how we can win improvements in Assam”.