Brazilian Mining Company Edges Japan’s Tepco in Vote for World’s Worst Corporation
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Vale Mining financial officials (photo: Demotix)
Based on votes submitted by 88,000 people worldwide, Brazilian mining company Vale has been named the world’s worst corporation for 2011. Sponsored by Berne Declaration and Greenpeace, since 2000, the Public Eye Award has highlighted corporate abuses annually by inviting nominations and holding a vote on the globe’s worst company. Vale garnered 25,042 votes (about 28%), barely beating Japan’s TEPCO, which got 24,245 votes (about 27%).
Vale was criticized for its leading role in the Belo Monte Dam construction project on the Amazon, which was alleged to be causing “the destruction of vast stretches of the Amazonian ecosystem.” According to the nomination, Vale also has “a long corporate history characterized by inhumane working conditions, human rights violations and environmental destruction…. Vale itself admitted in 2009 that it was a defendant in 111 lawsuits and the focus of 151 criminal investigations, largely related to violations of the rights of workers and affected communities.” Vale also stands accused of causing environmental and cultural damage in Chile and New Caledonia.
TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) made huge headlines last year because of the meltdown at its Fukushima nuclear power plant, which forced thousands to flee the contaminated area, many of whom will never be able to return. According to the nomination, TEPCO “grossly neglected the structural safety of its nuclear power plants in order to cut costs.” It also alleges that TEPCO provided information that was verifiably false or intentionally late in coming.
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