Well, we said it didn’t look like Dow’s year. Bhopal.net can exclusively reveal that the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy Workers International Union (PACE) unanimously passed a resolution on Bhopal/Dow at its first constitutional convention held in Las Vegas, Nev., Aug. 18-22, 2003. Placing Dow’s squalid double standards in the spotlight, the resolution states that, just as they accepted Carbide’s asbestos liabilities in Texas, 100 percent owner Dow must accept Carbide’s liabilities in Bhopal. In supporting each of the survivors’ demands, the resolution also calls upon the government of India to include ‘Dirty’ Dow in the ongoing criminal case in Bhopal.
“The Resolution sends a clear message to the world that solidarity is alive and strong,” said PACE Legislative Director Pete Strader. “When workers are harmed by a corrupt corporation and/or government, unions show they are truly their brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.” Also supporting the ICJB’s appeal for declaring Dec. 3, 2003 the anniversary of Carbide’s disaster in Bhopal as the Global Day of Action against Corporate Crime, the resolution calls upon all PACE members and workers worldwide to take direct action against rogue corporations.
The resolution came as a result of the meeting in Michigan between PACE members and Rashida Bee and Champa Devi during their US tour in May. Rashida and Champa’s union, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, is recognised by PACE as the leading member of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.
The other demands made by survivors and supported by the resolution are:
• Ex-CEO Warren Anderson and Union Carbide should appear in the Bhopal court to face long-pending criminal charges;
• Medical information relating to the toxicity of the gases should be released and provisions for medical rehabilitation and long-term medical monitoring made;
• There should be economic rehabilitation of those injured; and
• There must be clean-up of toxic wastes and contaminated groundwater.
PACE represents workers at three Dow Chemical facilities in the U.S. at Edison, N.J., Bound Brook, N.J., and Elizabethtown, Ky. The union represents 300,000 workers in the pulp, paper, oil, chemical, industrial, auto supply, atomic and mining sectors in the U.S. and Canada, and is the fourth largest manufacturing union in the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations).
Rashida Bee said, “Solidarity like this has helped to keep our fight alive for two decades. Today, members of Dow’s own workforce are in strong support of Bhopal survivors. We expect Dow will realise soon that it’s only a matter of time before corporate criminals are forced to succumb to the pressures of grassroots globalisation.”
Read the full text of the PACE resolution here.