Last July, The Logical Indian, Jhatkaa.org and Vettiver Collective joined forces with activists in Chennai to give voice to the struggle of Hindustan Unilever (HUL)’s ex-workers. The music video “Kodaikanal Won’t” made international waves, and Unilever global CEO Paul Polman was forced to respond promising quick action. It resulted in HUL compensating 591 of their ex-workers in Kodaikanal, many of whom had been devastated by mercury toxicity.
That was a massive victory but we only won half the battle. Unilever is yet to clean up the harmful mercury contamination inside and near their thermometer factory, which continues to slowly poison forests and water bodies in the Kodaikanal.
In the video, Sofia challenges some of Unilever’s biggest misleading statements. Right from the fact that 1.3 tonnes of mercury waste have been dumped in the Pambar Shola reserve forest. Not only that but some of the mercury-laden scrap glass from Unilever’s factory was sold to toy-makers who made marbles that children play with!
Watch the video and share it to help the cause. Countering Unilever’s misleading claims is an important step in ensuring that the company’s mercury mess in Kodaikanal is cleaned-up to a high standard.
The residents of Kodaikanal want Unilever to clean up its mercury mess to rigorous, scientific standards. Instead, the company has currently proposed standards that are TWENTY times weaker than what would be allowed in the United Kingdom, where Unilever is headquartered.
This is plainly a double standard. India and the town of Kodaikanal deserve better.
The Logical Indian requests its community members to sign the letter and share it, so we can put pressure on Unilever and they clean up the company’s toxic mess.