Nazdeek has been providing on the ground support through trainings on labor rights, research and legal counseling, community mobilization and legal advocacy to three NGOs i.e. PAJHRA (Promotion, Advancement, Justice and Human Rights of Adivasi) DBSS (Diocesan Board of Social Service) and PAD (People’s Action for Development) in Assam, India. In February 2013, these three organisations filed a complaint on behalf of workers at the World Bank Group’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman against the Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited (APPL), a subsidiary of Tata Global Beverages. Through the complaint, local organisations have brought to light systematic and serious instances of human rights violations under international law. APPL is also in contravention of Indian labour laws and World Bank’s own standards (IFC Performance Standard 2 – PS2). Marketing itself as socially responsible company, Tata Beverages is the world’s second largest distributor of tea, which is also sold under the Tata-Tetley brand.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, invested US$7.8 million to adopt a “worker-shareholder” model in 24 Tata-owned tea plantations in North-East India . An entity called Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited (APPL) was set up to manage the project. IFC owns approximately 20% of the stakes in APPL and Tata Global Beverages owns under 50%.
Status of Complaint:
Following allegations of retaliation and harassment faced by workers involved in the complaint process, APPL management has refused the option of mediation with the NGOs representing the workers. On November 25, 2013, the CAO assessment team completed their assessment and has now referred the complaint to the Compliance office within CAO. The assessment report is expected to be released by the end of December 2013.
For more information email us at info@nazdeek,org