Survivors organisations in Bhopal
oppose the merger of
DOW and CARBIDE on 4 counts:


1. This merger will help UNION CARBIDE (UCC) vanish as an entity. We cannot let UNION CARBIDE’s name disappear before justice is delivered in Bhopal.

The massacre in Bhopal is the main reason why the name UNION CARBIDE continues to be a burden on the corporation and a source of negative PR.

Aware of this, UNION CARBIDE initiated its vanishing act way back in 1992. First to go was UNION CARBIDE Eastern Hong Kong, one of the accused in the Bhopal case. This wholly owned subsidiary that served as the conduit of UCC’s control over the Bhopal factory was dissolved (the company was deregistered in Maryland). The assets and the Board of Directors were reshuffled and given a new name.

The CBI, prosecution for the criminal case pending against UNION CARBIDE Eastern, Hong Kong, have stated in court (before the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Bhopal) that they have no means to proceed against a company that has dissolved itself (we presented information to CBI showing reshuffling of assets and board members but they did not change their position).

The Indian subsidiary was renamed Eveready Industries India Limited in 1994 after UNION CARBIDE Corporation’s shares were sold off to the Khaitan Group.

UNION CARBIDE’s former CEO, Kennedy, had proclaimed "Bhopal is history" in one of their annual meetings. Since public memory did not and will not allow that to be a reality, it seems the company is now trying to bury itself in history.

The DOW CHEMICAL Company is aware of the burden of shame. DOW CHEMICAL executives were saying back in May 2000 "we have nothing to do with it – that was a different company".


 

2.

The merger is based on a lie that UNION CARBIDE has no criminal liabilities. UNION CARBIDE’s liabilities for the disaster in Bhopal are many:

  • Those arising from the killing of thousands of people and assaulting hundreds of thousands through reckless corporate conduct.
  • Those arising from the withholding of vital medical information as "business confidential" and thus impeding medical treatment of survivors.
  • Those arising from the devastation of family economies due to gross inadequacy of restitution.
  • Those arising from toxic contamination of the soil and ground water in the communities next to the UNION CARBIDE factory in Bhopal.

These liabilities are still outstanding because UNION CARBIDE Corporation, USA is absconding criminal prosecution in India. Yet in the documents submitted before the regulatory authorities (the Securities Exchange Commission and others) UNION CARBIDE has falsely claimed that it does not have any pending liabilities.


 

3.

The merger of two corporations with a long history of involvement with military aggressions does not bode well for world peace.

UNION CARBIDE and DOW CHEMICAL are founders of the "military industrial complex" – a coalition of business, the military and politicians - that increasingly threatens global security.

UNION CARBIDE and DOW CHEMICAL produced picric acid and mustard gas used in World War I. In World War II, DOW CHEMICAL made magnesium for bombs and UNION CARBIDE produced nuclear materials in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

As well as chemical weapons. DOW CHEMICAL played a principal role in the US military aggression on Vietnam in the late sixties. The company was the top producer of Agent Orange - a toxic defoliant sprayed over 4.5 million acres of Vietnam to make it harder for the Vietcong guerrillas to hide.


 

4.

The potential synergy of two corporations dealing with the most toxic chemicals in the world imposes the risk of mega-disasters like Bhopal.

Both UNION CARBIDE and DOW CHEMICAL share a history of shocking disregard of environmental and occupational health as well as work safety and human rights. This merged entity is now the second largest chemical behemoth in the world. Such concentration of toxic capital is a grave threat to life and health of people and their environments all over the world.

As the largest producer of dioxin – the most toxic chemical known - the DOW CHEMICAL Company is responsible for causing a variety of cancers, endometriosis, declining fertility, immune system suppression and birth defects all over the world.

UNION CARBIDE continues to be one of the major suppliers of toxic compounds.