Miners risk death for Granite tiles

Six out of 10 labourers toiling in southern Indian quarries for granite for tiles, fireplaces and kitchen counters around the world are working in dangerous conditions to repay huge loans, charities mapping the hidden supply chain said on Wednesday.

Governments are among the buyers of granite from India, one of the world’s largest exporters of the rock, using it in offices and to landscape public spaces in cities, the rights group India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) said in a report.

“With no formal contracts, workers are being exploited, underpaid and the entire process has been difficult to map,” said Girish Kowale, India head of the charity TFT, which encourages quarries in India to improve labour conditions.

“The workforce in this massive industry is highly unorganised and many of the processes are labour intensive.”

More than 60 percent of workers interviewed said they are only provided with safety equipment when government inspectors visit, said the report, published jointly with India’s Glocal Research and Consultancy Services.

An average of three to four workers die in quarry accidents in…. read full article here