Corporate responsibility for industrial incidents
Corporate responsibility for industrial incidents

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Corporate responsibility for industrial incidents

5.6.1 The relationship between UCIL and UCC

Your research may have uncovered information about the nature and complexity of the relationship between UCIL and UCC. You may have found the 2004 Amnesty report (pp. 46–8) helpful here. It categorises different aspects of the relationship as: ownership control, control over the board, and design and operational control of UCC. The following points are worthy of particular note:

  • UCIL reported to Union Carbide Eastern Inc. (UCE), a wholly owned subsidiary of UCC incorporated in the USA but operating in Hong Kong. However, the Bhopal plant reported through another wholly owned USA subsidiary of UCIL – the Union Carbide Agricultural Products Company (UCAPC).
  • The chair of UCE was the Corporate Vice-President of UCC, and three officials of UCE were on the board of UCIL.
  • Excerpts from a 1973 memorandum from UCIL to UCC requesting approval to set up the MIC-based plant at Bhopal reveal the nature and extent of UCC’s involvement in the Bhopal project.
  • When the MIC unit went into production in 1980 Warren Woomer, Special Projects Manager from UCC Agricultural Products Division, was appointed works manager at Bhopal for a two-year period and was present when the gas leak occurred.
  • In 1994, Union Carbide sold its stake in UCIL to Mcleod Russel India Limited of Calcutta, and UCIL was renamed Eveready Industries India Limited (Eveready Industries).

In 2001, UCC entered a merger agreement with Dow Chemical Company, and the former now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow.

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