"The More Things Change..." The World Bank, Tata and Enduring Abuses on India's Tea Plantations
With the support of the World Bank, the Tata Group, one of India's most powerful corporate entities, divested itself of its tea plantations to create a separate company, APPL. Together, the World Bank and Tata trumpeted the change, not as an abandonment of the plantations' 31,000 workers, but as a model for the social responsibility and sustainability movement, promising to create new opportunities and better lives for workers and communities. In reality, not only do conditions at APPL fail to meet the higher standards of the World Bank and the private certification bodies such as Social Accountability International that gave the plantations their seal of approval, but they violate the 60 year old standards of Indian law. In a number of stark instances, the corporate changes at the former Tata plantations have actually made life worse for workers and their families.
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Response from APPL
Response from IFC
Selected Press Coverage
Hopes, and Homes, Crumbling on Indian Tea Plantations, New York Times, February 13, 2014
World Bank Probes Tata Tea Project Over Worker Abuse, Reuters, February 14, 2014
World Bank to Investigate its Investment in Tea Group, Financial Times, February 12, 2014
Abused Workers Toil for Tetley, The Telegraph, February 12, 2014
Tata Urged to Give Tea Plantation Workers Way Out of Share Scheme, Financial Times, February 10, 2014
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