Power Of Social Media: After 15 Years, Unilever Bows To Pressure, Compensates Workers

The Logical Indian

March 9th, 2016 / 4:19 PM

Image: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

The settlement between Hindustan Unilever and 591 former mercury workers from its thermometer factory in Kodaikanal is an unprecedented victory and a fitting culmination of the 15-year campaign by workers and the hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide.

Kodaikanal is the place where unilever dumped it toxic waste and people 
of that region are suffering from it. Though the fight was for the people and their rights, the victims didn’t get any help from the local as well as traditional media.

“After looking at the lame response from the govt and media, we thought of doing a social media campaign #UnileverPollutes with the help of social media portals like The Logical Indian. The kind of attention our campaign got is unprecedented and beyond our expectations. As soon as “Kodaikanal Won’t” was shared on The Logical Indian, it went viral.” said Nityanand Jayaraman, a Chennai-based writer and activist who has been part of the campaign since 2001.

Looking at the huge response from the people, other websites and media houses picked up the video and started sharing on their platform. Various celebs from Hollywood like Nicki Minaz, Aston Kutcher, Mark Ruffalo  and others started talking(tweeting) about the Campaign due to which the Unilever came forward to  respond to the outrage on social media.

Unilever is insisting on leaving up to 25 milligrams/kg of mercury in soil – 250 times higher than naturally occurring background levels — even after clean-up. According to activists, that is far laxer than global standards and will harm the environment. The factory is located on a ridge surrounded by the densely forested Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary.

In the United Kingdom, where Unilever is headquartered, even residential standard for mercury in soil is 1 mg/kg – 25 times stricter than what Unilever is proposing for an eco-sensitive area in India. “With its refusal to clean up Kodaikanal as it would a site in the United Kingdom, Unilever is begging for another global campaign, and we are happy to oblige,” said Shweta Narayan, an activist with The Other Media. Campaign organisations have declared that they will build pressure on Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and Unilever to commit to a world class clean-up in the lead up to the state Assembly elections in May 2016 and Unilever’s Annual Shareholders Meetings in England, the Netherlands and Mumbai in the coming months.

The Logical Indian and the campaign organisations The Other Media, Chennai Solidarity Group and Jhatkaa.org would like to thank our community members for taking part in our campaign and helping the people of Kodaikanal get justice. We need more of your help now as it is first of many of the battles to be won as we need to force Unilever for clean up of the mess they have created.

Be part of the campaign here: Campaign Against Unilever

To know more about the issue, please read:
1.) [Watch/Read] #WontBuyUnilever: Everyone Is Campaigning Against Unilever, Know Why?


2.) Dear Unilever Shareholders, We Made You Rich And Your Company Poisoned Us!

 

 


Contributors

Edited by :

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Kerala Flood Rescue

Women’s Group Harnesses The Power Of Social Media To Help Kerala Flood Victims

Art Has The Power To Transform Lives & The Story Of This Woman Proves Its Power

Stalked

Journalist Reports Harassment On Social Media After UP Police Ignore Distress Calls; Accused Arrested

SPCA Noida

The Power Of Social Media: The Lives Of Over 1,000 Animals Were Saved Because You Chose To Speak Up

BSF Issues Guidelines

After Soldiers Take To Social Media To Voice Grievances, BSF Issues Guidelines

Blood Donation Drive

The Power Of Social Media: Man Uses Facebook To Start A Mass Blood Donation Drive

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Statue Of Unity: Tribals Lock Engineer Office In Protest For Jobs And Rehabilitation Facilities

News

Udupi: Krishna Temple Bans ‘Ede Snana’, The Practice Of Rolling Over Food Offered To Deity

Awareness

“They Have Turned Village Into Coal Dumping Yard” Jharkhand Villagers Accuse NTPC Of Forcibly Acquiring Land

News

After Six Years Of Imprisonment In Pakistan, Hamid Ansari Returns To India

Awareness

Johnson & Johnson Knew About Presence Of Cancerous Asbestos In Their Baby Powder

Awareness

Cabinet Approves Amendment To Make Aadhaar Optional For Banking, Phone Connections

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.