Risk Intelligence Radar: Indonesian Nickel Industry; Kenyan Tea Industry; Zantac Cancer Lawsuits

Highlighting some of the emerging and updated trends that Auquan customers have been tracking this week.

Human Rights and Environmental Concerns in the Indonesian Nickel Industry

A series of articles published since January 2023 highlight the risks and challenges associated with the Indonesian nickel industry, including exploitation, unsafe working conditions, and environmental degradation.

Impacted Companies:

  • Tesla, which has announced plans to source nickel from Indonesia
  • SK Group, which owns SK On, a battery manufacturer investing in the Indonesian nickel industry
  • Chinese-run nickel smelters operating in Indonesia

Important Developments and Consequences:

  • Workers in the Indonesian nickel industry are facing high rates of illness and death due to exposure to toxic substances and unsafe working conditions.
  • Environmental groups have called on Tesla to reconsider its plans to source nickel from Indonesia due to concerns over the environmental impact of mining and processing operations.
  • The exploitation of illegal nickel mines in Indonesia has resulted in environmental degradation and human rights abuses, with miners subjected to dangerous and inhumane working conditions.
  • Chinese-run nickel smelters in Indonesia have faced allegations of using Chinese workers to break strikes and suppress dissent.
  • SK On, a battery manufacturer owned by South Korean conglomerate SK Group, is investing heavily in the Indonesian nickel industry, with plans to establish a joint venture for battery materials processing.

Future dates and developments to watch:

  • SK On's joint venture for battery materials processing in Indonesia is expected to begin operations in mid-2024.
  • Environmental and human rights organizations are calling for increased scrutiny and accountability in the Indonesian nickel industry, with potential regulatory and policy changes on the horizon.

Highlighted Articles:

Human Rights Abuse Allegations Against the Kenyan Tea Industry

A series of articles published between January and February 2023 shed light on the alleged human rights abuses experienced by tea pickers in Kenya and the involvement of British companies in perpetuating these abuses.

Impacted Companies:

  • James Finlay, a Scottish tea company
  • Aberdare Safari Hotels, a Scottish hospitality company
  • British companies operating in the Kenyan tea industry

Important Developments and Consequences:

  • A Scottish court granted Kenyan tea workers the right to pursue a class-action lawsuit against James Finlay, a Scottish tea company, for alleged human rights abuses, including underpayment and poor working conditions.
  • An investigation by Insider UK uncovered instances of sexual abuse and exploitation experienced by British female employees working in the Kenyan tea industry, leading to calls for improved protections and accountability.
  • A Scottish firm, Aberdare Safari Hotels, was ordered to halt its operations in Kenya following allegations of environmental destruction and exploitation of local communities.
  • Kenyan tea pickers have launched a court bid to demand compensation from British companies for historical human rights abuses, with the case potentially involving thousands of workers.
  • The Kenyan government has faced criticism for its inadequate response to reports of human rights abuses in the tea industry, including allegations of complicity and lack of oversight.

Future dates and developments to watch:

  • The class-action lawsuit against James Finlay is set to proceed in Scottish courts in early 2024, with potential implications for other companies operating in the Kenyan tea industry.
  • The Kenyan government has promised to conduct an inquiry into the allegations of human rights abuses in the tea industry, with findings expected to be published in late 2023.

Highlighted Articles:

Zantac Cancer Lawsuits and Cover-Up Revelations Plague Manufacturers

The Zantac cancer lawsuits and revelations of Glaxo's cover-up of cancer risk data continue to have significant impacts on manufacturers and the legal system.

Affected Companies: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Sanofi

Important developments and consequences since January 2023:

  • Sanofi is facing potential legal action as the current manufacturer of Zantac
  • Glaxo allegedly knew about Zantac's cancer risk for 40 years and kept it quiet
  • Multidistrict litigation has been consolidated in New York
  • The first Zantac cancer trial is currently being weighed by a judge
  • The scandal has spurred investigations by regulatory bodies

Future dates and developments to watch:

  • Outcome of the first Zantac cancer trial
  • Developments in multidistrict litigation
  • Progress of regulatory investigations

Highlighted Articles:

While you’re here…

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