no embargo - 4 August 2009 ( Back to news releases)
FACK welcomes the order for arrest of the CEO of Union Carbide which is responsible for the disaster in Bhopal on 3rd December 1984 that killed 10,000 immediately, many more in the following days and years and continues to make hundreds of thousands severely ill
On the 31st July, the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to arrest Warren Anderson and produce him before the court without delay. Union Carbide and Anderson are charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, grievous assault and other serious crimes. Anderson is an absconder as he has refused to appear in court.
In response to the arrest warrant, Union Carbide repeats the claim that the explosion was caused by worker sabotage. The survivors refute this claim as an outright lie, and it has been utterly discredited not least by a report from a 12 member fact finding committee of members from the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (Now the ITUC) and the International Federation of Chemicals, Energy and General Workers Unions which concluded that
"The disaster was caused by insufficient attention to safety in the process design, dangerous operating procedures, lack of proper maintenance, faulty equipment, and deep cuts in manning levels, crew sizes, worker training and skilled supervision."
FACK spokesperson says:
“When a company responsible for the killing of thousands of people, the destruction of the health, livelihood and environment of hundreds of thousands more, and is not held responsible then justice is not done. For those in charge of the Union Carbide plant not to have faced a court of justice and not to have paid appropriate penalties sends out a dangerous message to companies across the world: it’s OK to kill lots of people as long as they are poor, if it’s a long way from home, and you keep spreading sabotage stories, you should get away with it. It is nearly 25 years and still the suffering of the people of Bhopal goes on. Union Carbide, its CEO Warren Anderson, and Dow which has taken over UC, should face up to their responsibilities and Warren Anderson should appear in court at once.
"As families of people in the UK killed by the gross negligence of their employers we know only too well what the Bhopal families have faced when the law and its enforcement are far too weak to bring about even a little justice. That any company could evade justice for such a massive killing, means all workers around the world are at risk from globalised companies and leaves criminal employers with little to fear.
"We in FACK met with Satinath Sarangi who founded the Bhopal Group for Information and Action and is a leader in the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, and managing trustee of Sambhavna Trust, at the Hazards 2009 Conference in Manchester in July. After hearing him speak, 500 delegates passed a unanimous motion to support the people of Bhopal in their fight for justice and to call on all workers across the UK to commemorate 3rd December this year as Bhopal day against corporate crime and call on Dow to stop spreading the sabotage story.
“We in FACK are all Bhopali now and our hearts are with the survivors. We call on the authorities to arrest Warren Anderson immediately and let him face the courts.”
For more information contact 0161 636 7557
A copy of the icftu-icef's 1985 report [pdf]