Sustainability certified Indian tea estates violate worker rights – report

Tea estates in southern India are hiring temporary workers during peak plucking season and denying these labourers basic rights as required by law, said a report released on Tuesday. A survey of two tea estates inTamil Nadu – both certified by the international nonprofit Rainforest Alliance – found that in 2015, up to half of the workforce were temporary workers, and most were migrants or retirees.

Focus group discussions and individual interviews with the workers showed the casual labourers did not receive a bonus, contributions for their children’s school fees, a pension fund, crèche facilities or other social security benefits given to permanent workers. “Tea workers around the world are facing dangerous and degrading working conditions,” said the report by India-based Global Research and the India Committee of the Netherlands, both non-governmental organisations working on labour and human rights.

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