Tata Tetley, the best-selling tea-maker in the UK, has been accused of “human rights violations” after the death of three workers in India.
Its parent company, Tata Tea, has been asked to apologise after a crop sprayer died of suspected poisoning at the Powai Tea Estate in Assam.
According to a report by the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF), two fellow workers caught up in protests over his death were shot dead by riot police and another 15 were injured.
“I believe that Tetley is linked to core human rights violations and the death and killing of tea workers,” said Jasper Gross, author of the IUF report.
Charities and trade unions are now demanding action from Tetley. Tata Tea part owns the Powai Tea Estate.
Tetley has distanced itself from the allegations and the company insisted that no tea produced at the Assam plantation goes into its teabags sold in Britain.
Campaigners have blamed 25-year-old Gopal Tanti’s sudden death in May on pesticides he was employed to spray on crops at the site.