Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/491/2517
How Mittal makes millions
HOW DOES Britain's richest man - Lakshmi Mittal, Tony Blair's pal and the Labour Party's biggest financial backer - make his billions? By exploiting workers (and paying no tax)!
As part of his global business empire which made him a £19 billion fortune, Mittal owns Lenina mine in the former soviet republic of Kazakhstan (ruled by the despot Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose state forces routinely attack the workers' movement and members of the CWI*).
Mittal is the country's biggest employer with 50,000 workers and has been appointed Kazakhstan's special envoy to Britain.
But Mittal is no 'model employer'. Some 91 miners have been killed at Lenina mine since 2004. The Sunday Times reports that at the plant in 2006, when 41 miners were killed in a massive explosion, managers told miners to ignore safety concerns with the ventilation system and go underground in order to meet production targets.
One miner said: "The pressures local managers put us under to meet targets so they can collect their bonuses are more and more stressful. We are being exploited like animals."
Despite Mittal paying compensation to the dead workers' families and raising wages, trade unionist Pavel Shumkin said: "He is making huge profits at the expense of miners who are made to work like dogs in appalling conditions. The miners all agree: compared with life now under Mittal, for them everything was better in Soviet times."
(*CWI - the Committee for a Workers' International, the socialist international organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated)
In The Socialist 14 June 2007:
Unison national conference
What we think
Socialist Party NHS campaign
War and terrorism
G8 Summit protests
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis