Global drink and snacks giant PepsiCo is complicit in ongoing human rights violations by a warehouse provider in the Indian state of West Bengal. Since 2013, IUF members have been supporting a courageous group of warehouse workers who areunemployed as a consequence of insisting on their right to form a trade union . The company which dismissed them – Radhakrishna Foodland Pvt. Ltd (RKFL) – operates a warehouse contracted exclusively to PEPSICO.
PepsiCo’s warehouse supplier has responded to the workers’ fight for rights by compounding earlier abuses. In the course of the long struggle, already precarious one-year contracts have been unilaterally replaced with contracts for 3 months, pushing rights even further out of reach. Workers at this PepsiCo supplier do not receive written contracts in a language they can understand; they sign a document in English and are verbally informed of the length of their contract. And PepsiCo, which claims to have a rigorous supplier code and a strong dedication to international human rights standards, stands firmly behind its supplier’s practices.
Direct discussions between the IUF and PepsiCo, including mediation under the auspices of the United States government’s National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, have failed to remedy the abuses.
PepsiCo’s refusal to recognize and to remedy ongoing human rights violations makes it complicit in human rights abuses – complicity that leaves their supplier code and their claimed dedication to human rights in tatters.
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