Not so relaxing news about Tetley tea

Posted: January 31, 2011 in Consumer campaigns, India, Natural Resources
Tags: , , , , , ,

In May 2010 Gopal Tanti, a tea plantation worker, collapsed and died after spraying tea that ultimately finds its way onto your supermarket shelf in Tetley’s teabags.

Gopal was only 25 years old and his collapse, it seems, resulted from exposure to toxic pesticides without any safety equipment. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he may have survived but was denied medical treatment on the scene. As word got out, a spontaneous protest broke out. Police arrived and shot and killed two of the protestors.

In the ensuing months the foodworkers’ union, the IUF, released a report detailing that these unsafe work practices were commonplace and still continuing.

Earlier, in another plantation that supplies Tata (owner of Tetley’s), Arti Oraon, an eight-month pregnant tea plucker was denied maternity leave and compelled to keep working. When her 1,000 co-workers protested against her treatment, management locked them out with no food or rations for three months!

Today they are seeking compensation for their lost livelihood over this period. You can support them by sending a message of support to Tata/Tetley’s.

Watch an interview with one of Arti’s co-workers here:

  1. alize smith says:

    It is terrible that the Tetley tea company has the “support cancer reserch’ when they spray so many pesticides on the leaves and then sell it to women that are getting cancer so much. Pesticides are a proven cause of cancer.

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