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Organized crime was the first to emerge as a transnational crime.
In December 1984, an explosion at a pesticide plant in Bhopal India, then owned by the American multi-national Union Carbide, lead to deadly gas fumes leaking into the surrounding atmosphere and toxic chemicals into the ground.
That was more than 25 years, but, according to the Bhopal Medical Appeal (1), a toxic legacy still remains.
Now this may sound like a reasonable ratio for such a deliciously sweet beverage, but not if you happen to be a farmer living close by to Coca Cola’s Kaladera plant in Rajasthan, North East India.
According to recent independent report, commissioned by coca cola, “[the factory’s] presence in this area would continue to be one of the contributors to a worsening water situation and a source of stress to the communities around,” concluding that the company should find alternative water supplies, relocate or shut down the plan The result of coke’s presence in the water depleted region is that local farmers who have lived in the area for decades now have inadequate water supplies to keep their crops watered and there appears to be a clear link between the coca cola Corporation moving into the region and the destruction of the livelihood of the farmers living nearby.
Now, I know there are middle men, but in classic Marxist terms, this is surely the extraction of surplus value taken to the extreme!
The anti- sweat shop campaigns are several years old now, but still ongoing.
Watch the brief clip from the Video ‘Poison Fire’ and note down the scale of environmental damage caused by Britain’s biggest company.
Union Carbide in Bhopal India is easily the most horrendous example of this…..
Of course sweat shop labour is not limited to the clothing industry – the BBC3 series ‘Blood Sweat and T shirts/ Takeaways/ Luxuries’, (3) in which young Brits travel to developing countries to work alongside people in a wide range of jobs, clearly demonstrates how workers in many stages of the productive process, including rice sowing, prawn farming, gold mining, and coffee packing, suffer poor pay and conditions.
Many of the goods focused on in this series end up being bought and the sold in the West by Transnational Corporations for a huge mark up, and it is extremely interesting to see the Brits abroad struggling with the injustice of this.