Nityanand Jayraman has a piece in Scroll.in which is a damning indictment of Hindustan Unilever’s role in contaminating a thermometer factory site in Kodaikanal with mercury.
The sordid story carries the usual villainy of an evil corporation that puts its commercial interests above the safety of its workers, the community around it and the environment. While this was a while ago, things haven’t changed much. Even today, we see this movie playing out, in company after company, around the world.
Unilever dumped broken thermometers at the site and let the mercury leach into the ground. It did not train its workers adequately in safety procedures. And when confronted with the clean up after the government shut down the factory, it argued for laxer standards and denied wrongdoing. Pretty standard fare for such cases.
What makes the story uglier though, is that this thermometer factory in Kodaikanal was moved from Watertown in New York…
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