Tata Steel: philanthropists or murderers?
Friday, February 02, 2007
There was much rejoicing in South Wales this week when it was announced that India's Tata Steel had taken-over Corus for £6.2bn.
Watching BBC's Wales Today you'd have thought Corus had been bought by Father Christmas. Back in India, Tata looks after its staff, the reporter cooed. They work no more than eight hours per day and live in model villages, she added (sparking images of the world's tiniest heavy-industry workforce). Ebbw Vale's steel workers could only hope to be treated in the same way.
What she didn't tell you was that just last year a group of tribal villagers from Kalinganagar in the Orissa province held a small protest against moves by the giant Tata steel company to displace them.
They were unhappy at not being offered market prices for their land, and had assembled to prevent the bull-dozers from destroying their houses.
The police turned up and shot 13 dead, including three women.
Tata have refused to accept any responsibility for these deaths, and one year on, the protest continues.
If this had happened in Britain, there would be decades of outrage. The Welsh steel industry may now live a few more years, but that's no reason to throw balanced reporting out the window.
posted by Blamerbell @ 6:06 am,