Corporate profiles compiled by George Draffan

Public Information Network, PO Box 95316, Seattle WA 98145-2316 USA

back to main page and index

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political and economic issues.
We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.Section 107, the material on this site is made available without profit to those who have an interest in receiving the information for research and educational purposes.



Unilever owns 40 percent of UAC of Nigeria Ltd., which is part of African Timber and Plywood (Sapele, Nigeria) (Business in the Rain Forests, p. 90-91).

Profiled in Multinational Monitor.




"UBS Capital is the private equity division of UBS AG, one of the largest financial services companies in the world. UBS Capital currently holds private equity investments with a book value of approx. CHF 2.4bn and benefits from the Bank's capital allocation of CHF 5bn. UBS Capital enjoys a global market presence with established teams in Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific with a total headcount of 120. In Europe, 40 professionals located in London, Milan, Munich, Paris, The Hague and Zurich advise the bank with the selection and execution of their investments.

Warburg Dillon Read is the investment banking division of UBS AG. WDR provides investment banking services to corporate, institutional and sovereign clients worldwide. Warburg Dillon Read was created in the summer of 1998, the product of the merged investment banking businesses of Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation. Headquartered in London, Warburg Dillon Read employs more than 14,000 people around the world.

UBS Capital and WDR have invested $20 million in Leisureplanet Holdings, Ltd., a publicly traded investment company whose holdings include a majority stake in Leisureplanet, a leading Internet travel services provider, as well as businesses in various industries, including value-added convenience foods and leisure products." (Leisureplanet  news release, Dec. 27, 1999).




Udon Supply, Khukhan Aroonswat, MLL 33 Company, and Surin Thanapong Construction are named as log importing companies that will benefit from the opening of a new border pass allowing Cambodian timber to be brought into Thailand. The pass is in the Chong Sangam area of the Khukhan District, which is a pristine forest covering both sides of the Cambodian-Thai border; the Thai side of the pass is within the Huay Sala Wildlife reserve (Asian Timber, July 1992, p. 7, citing the Bangkok Post).




320 First Street, NW, Washington, DC 20534

Chief Operating Officer: Steve Schwalb
Board of directors: Kenneth R. Rocks, Sergeant-at-Arms for the Grand Lodge Executive Board, Fraternal Order of Police.
David D. Spears, Director of Kansas Farm Bureau-Agriculture Solutions. Former Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Donald R. Elliot, Eaton Corporation's Fluid Power Group.
Diane K. Morales, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness.
Audrey J. Roberts, retired President of Martin Manufacturing Company, Martin.

UNICOR has 21,778 inmates working in 100 prison factories manufacturing 150 products producing $679 million in revenues in 2001. Over 97% of sales are to other US government agencies. Top products are office furniture, clothing (medical, military apparel, law enforcement, and lodging), electronics (cables and fiber optics, circuit boards, and guided missile components), and vehicle services (automotive and equipment components, diesel engines, forklifts and portable generators). ( July 17, 2003).

"In 1934, UNICOR, Federal Prison Industries, Inc., was incorporated to train and productively employ inmates. Today, this unique corporation provides high-quality products and services for Federal customers, produced in more than one hundred manufacturing operations across the country." ( July 17, 2003).

UNICOR is a privately owned corporation that maintains factories in every Federal Prison in the country. Of the 106,000 prisoners currently incarcerated within the BOP, approximately 40% are employed as cheap/slave labor for these prison factories. ( July 17, 2003).

Made in USA... but By Convicts, by Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 14, 1998.




Unilever PLC


London EC4P 4BQ, England

Unilever NV

Burgemeester s'Jacobplein 1

3015 CA

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Unilever US
390 Park Ave.

New York NY 10022


Owned by Unilever PLC and NV, whose boards of directors are identical. Established in England in 1885; by 1900 it was selling soap in Australia, South Africa, and the U.S. Was Africa's largest enterprise from 1929 to 1949. Merged with the Dutch margarine cartel in 1930; separate PLC and NV entities are for tax purposes. Owns Lever Bros., Pepsodent, Q-Tips, Vaseline, Bird's Eye, Chesebrough-Ponds, Calvin Klein Cosmetics, Faberge/Elizabeth Arden, Lipton, Popsicle, and many other brands. Its 1990 sales of $40 billion were half from food; two-thirds was sold in Europe. Has 304,000 employees (Hoover's Handbook of World Busines 1992, p. 303).

The Council on Economic Priorities produced an environmental report on Unilever in 1993 ($20 from CEP, 30 Irving Place, New York NY 10003, 1-800-729-4237).

Has had 100-year coconut (oil) contracts in Papua New Guinea.

Unilever owns 40 percent of UAC of Nigeria Ltd., which is part of African Timber and Plywood (Sapele, Nigeria) (Business in the Rain Forests, p. 90-91).

Hindustan Lever is India's largest foreign-owned company, with 1991 revenues of $781 million. It is expanding its sales of soaps, detergents, and plans for food processing, since new finance rules in India allow foreign investors to own up to 51 percent of ventures. The new rules are part of the economic "reforms" since Prime Minister Rao was elected in 1991; the old maximum was 40 percent (Fortune, Nov. 16, 1992, p. 129).

See The History of Unilever by Charles Wilson (Praeger, 1968), and Unilever Overseas: The Anatomy of a Multinational, by David K. Fieldhouse (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1979).







Wayne, NJ

Union Camp's subsidiary Bush Boake Allen has operations in Malaysia and Thailand (Who Owns Whom 1990: Australia & Far East).



UNION CARBIDE click here for detailed profile

39 Old Ridgebury Rd.

Danbury CT 06817


Formed in 1917 as carbon and battery company. Expanded into gases and chemicals in during World War I and into uranium production and nuclear bombs in World War II. See the Council of International and Public Affairs' 1990 book Abuse of Power.

The Council on Economic Priorities produced an environmental report on Union Carbide in 1991-92 ($20 from CEP, 30 Irving Place, New York NY 10003, 1-800-729-4237).

World's largest mercury spill at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in 1970. Some 700 people died at Hawk's Nest, West Virginia in 1930.

Chrome producer in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe); after Rhodesian imports were banned by the United Nations because of racial policy, Union Carbide and Foote Mineral lobbied the U.S. for passage of the Byrd Amendment in 1972, supposedly to avoid dependence on the Soviet Union's chrome (WOTE, p. 120-121).

Between 1986 and 1992, Union Carbide shipped mercury and other toxic wastes to South Africa to be processed at the Cato Ridge smelter run by Thor Chemicals.

In the worst industrial disaster in history, a Union Carbide pesticide plant leaked forty tons of methyl isocyanate at Bhopal, India, on December 2-3, 1984, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries. An Indian court issued an extradition order for Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson in March 1992, to stand criminal charges. (Anderson had been arrested in February 1989 when he visited Bhopal. Union Carbide had agreed to pay some $470 million to settle all claims). By then over 3,800 people had died; 200,000 suffer respiratory, vision, internal organ, and/or genetic damage See "Waiting for Justice: Union Carbide's Legacy in Bhopal," by Meera Nanda, in the Multinational Monitor (July/Aug 1991, p. 15-19); and Mehta et al's "Bhopal Tragedy's Health Effects: A Review of MIC Toxicity," in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Dec. 5, 1990).

Union Carbide has operations in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, and Union Polymers Malaysia is a subsidiary (Who Owns Whom 1990: Australia & Far East).



UNION MINIERE see Societe Generale de Belgique



UNION POLYMERS see Union Carbide




Its chemical production in the Bahamas is U.S. OPIC-assisted (OPIC 1991 Annual Report).



UNITED BRANDS see Chiquita






UNITED FRUIT see Chiquita




Gold mining in the Philippines (Engineering & Mining Journal, Mar. 1992, p. 136-143).




15 Vauxhall Bridge Rd.

London SW1V 1EN England

Cover corpration for arms dealers who signed a February 1989 agreement with the Liberian government. The arms-for-logging swap provided $60 million worth of military goods in exchange for three timber concessions covering 347,688 acres to be cut over five years (source: London Rainforest Action Group, in Tropical Echoes, Winter 1990, p. 13).




The Council on Economic Priorities produced an environmental report on United Technologies in 1991-92 ($20 from CEP, 30 Irving Place, New York NY 10003, 1-800-729-4237).

United Technologies produced Israeli jet engines with Koor (see entry for Koor Industries).



UNITED TIMBER see Mitsubishi




United Tractors, a subsidiary of Astra and Nissho Iwai, controls the Berau coal mine on the Latek River 600 km north of Samarinda, East Kalimantan (Mining Magazine, Mar. 1992, p. 150).



UNOCAL (Union Oil of California)

1201 West 5th St.
Los Angeles CA 90017

Eleventh largest U.S. oil corporation, world's largest producer of geothermal energy; chemical production, specialty minrqals, fertilizer, carbon products, electrical power generation. Half of Unocal's crude comes from offshore wells; most of Unocal's oil is produced in Alaska, California, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and several other countries. Refieries near Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Beaumont Texas (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1993; and Moskowitz, Everybody's Business, 1990 edition).


Begun in Pennsylvania in 1859. Moved to southern California in 1880s. Buil first oil tanker in 1903. Union service stations expanded since 1930s. Doubled in size with the acquisition of Pure Oil in 1965. Hostile takeover attempt by T. Boone Pickens in 1985 resulted in large debt for Unocal. In 1990 Unocal sold its Norwegian subsidiary and bought Prairie Holdings in the U.S.


Molycorp (lanthanide mining)
Poco Graphite
PureGro (agricultural products)
Union 76 retail outlets
Union Oil of California
UNO-VEN (joint venture with Petroleos de Venezuela

Unocal Exploration (Gulf Coast)
Unocal Indonesia
Unocal Land & Development
Unocal Netherlands
Unocal Pipeline (Alaska)
Unocal Thailand
Unocal UK


Operated the offshore oil well that produced the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill.

1979 phenol spill at refinery in Rodeo California, resulting in lawsuits by plant supervisor Tom Billecci and the Sierra Club; in 1990, a court-approved settlement required Unocal to pay $4.2 million for dumping toxics at Rodeo from 1977 to 1986 (Moskowitz, Everybody's Business, 1990 edition).


Began oil exploration in Burma in 1989. Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE), the agency overseeing oil and gas development in Burma, is controlled by the military regime SLORC; since 1989, MOGE has signed multimillion dollar contracts with many foreign oil companies. A subsidiary of the Thai national oil company, PTT Exploration and Production, has proposed developing natural gas in Burma's Gulf of Mataban and shipping it to Thailand through an undersea pipeline. (See article by Dara O'Rourke, "Oil in Burma: Fueling Oppression," Multinational Monitor 13(10):7-11, Oct. 1992).

"As a business entity, we must remain apolitical in all countries where we operate. Foreign relations activities are best conducted through international diplomatic channels, not private companies. U.S. corporations cannot be instruments of foreign policy or serve the agendas of political interest groups. In fact, U.S. law and our corporate code specifically prohibit us from asserting ourselves in the internal politics and any sovereign naion." David Garcia, senior public relations representative of UNOCAL corporation, responding to a question regarding UNOCAL's involvement in the Yadana gas pipeline project in Burma, in Burma Issues: News, Analysis & Peoples' Stories, 9(3)(March 1999).

Pipeline to Justice? A U.S. appeals court offers hope to Myanmar farmers who accuse Unocal of complicity in human rights abuses. By Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times, June 15, 2003.
Carrying her gravely injured infant daughter, a woman emerged from the jungle and struggled to make her way to a refugee camp, where she told of their harrowing exodus from Myanmar.
They had been assaulted by soldiers searching for her husband after his escape from a crew of forced laborers. Unable to find him, the soldiers lashed out at her. An officer berated her, beat her and kicked her so hard that she and the newborn she was nursing fell into a cooking fire.
"My baby wasn't even crying anymore, she was so badly burned on her head," the woman said, recalling how she cradled the girl, just a month old, as she searched for help.
The woman blames the "project of the white people" for her misery. Her husband was among hundreds of villagers forced to work for Myanmar's Tatmawdaw, the People's Army. The army had been assigned to guard a $1.2-billion natural gas pipeline built by Unocal Corp. and a French partner through the wooded flatlands and mountain rain forests of the Tenasserim region.
Nine years later, the woman, identified in court documents only as Jane Doe 1, waits to be called as a witness in lawsuits accusing the El Segundo-based company of complicity in human rights abuses -- including forced labor, murder and rape -- allegedly committed by Tatmawdaw soldiers in the country formerly known as Burma.
If Jane Doe 1 and 14 other plaintiffs succeed in forcing Unocal to defend itself in a courtroom thousands of miles from the scene of the alleged crimes, they will make history.
More than two dozen suits have been filed in U.S. courts over the last decade against U.S. corporations -- including Exxon Mobil Corp., Ford Motor Co. and IBM Corp. -- for alleged human rights abuses in countries from Colombia to South Africa. None has been tried.
Should the Unocal case be the first, a Los Angeles jury will face questions moral as well as legal: Can a corporation be held liable for human rights violations by a foreign government that is a business partner? How much of a hand in the abuses must the company have had to be found responsible? What if it simply turned a blind eye?
Lawyers for Unocal acknowledge that the soldiers swept the jungle, dragooning men and women to work as porters. But the lawyers say no forced labor was used on any aspect of the pipeline project and no one at Unocal could control the military. They also say the company had no knowledge of the violent acts that soldiers are alleged to have committed.
This week, at a hearing in San Francisco before 11 judges on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Unocal will argue against a ruling made last year by a three-judge panel, which found there was sufficient evidence for the company to stand trial. The majority opinion said there was reason to believe that Unocal "gave assistance and encouragement to the Myanmar Military."
Unocal, the judges said, was no different from the German armaments firm Krupp, which was tried for war crimes at Nuremberg after World War II: Unocal "resembles the defendants in Krupp, who well knew that any expansion of their business could require the employment of forced labor."
Unocal sees it differently. "The military has a general obligation in every country to maintain authority," said Charles Strathman, the company's chief legal officer. "That's not the same as hiring the military. 7-Eleven investors aren't liable for what police do when they are called to a store."
The pipeline emerges from the warm waters of the Gulf of Martaban in the Andaman Sea at the fishing village of Daminseik, a smattering of weathered wooden and bamboo huts sandwiched between the shore and a strip of rice paddies plied by water buffalo. On a nearby hilltop, a Buddhist temple stands watch over this spot on the west coast of Myanmar's remote southern panhandle.
Baptist missionaries came here in the 19th century to convert the ethnic Karen and Mon from Buddhism, inspiring the construction of a few churches amid the ubiquitous golden stupas. But until the pipeline, the landscape of the Tenasserim hadn't much changed.
Jane Doe 1's life had been as constant, she recalled, until the day in May 1992 when soldiers appeared in her remote village. It was in the path of one of the pipeline routes under consideration by the government, and the soldiers ordered the villagers to move to a relocation camp far from their home.
"Until the pipeline came, we were free," she said. "Burmese soldiers were fairy tales. We never saw them. But they came with the pipeline."
Jane Doe 1 and other plaintiffs, living in hiding under a court-ordered cloak of anonymity, told their stories from safe houses here. The interviews were supplemented with court documents and declassified diplomatic cables. The plaintiffs' lawyers asked that the men and women not be identified by The Times for fear of retribution.
The interviews were arranged and translated by Ka Hsaw Wa, a Karen human rights advocate. He is co-founder of EarthRights International, whose lawyers are representing some of the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs' accounts are the basis of two lawsuits, which are proceeding concurrently in federal court. They were filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act, a 214-year-old law dusted off in the late 1970s to bring suits in the U.S. against foreign dictators and multinational corporations over alleged abuses abroad.
As Jane Doe 1, a petite woman wearing a loose-fitting shirt over faded black pants, began her story in her native Karen, her big, dark eyes welled with tears. Though she and her husband were frightened, they ignored the soldiers' evacuation command. They moved instead to a nearby village, the one where she had grown up, hoping to continue to tend the cows, hens, rice paddies and cashew trees on their small farm.
They sold livestock to satisfy the soldiers' demands for money, she said, until they had nothing left. Then the soldiers took her husband, John Doe 1.
He testified that he worked on a pipeline road. The government was eager to build a line to tap an enormous natural gas field 150 feet below the surface of the Andaman Sea. The field is called Yadana, the Burmese word for treasure.
As the state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise was inviting companies to bid on the project, U.S. firms already in Myanmar were starting to leave.
When Levi Strauss & Co. quit the country in 1992, an executive said: "It is not possible to do business without directly supporting the military government and its pervasive human rights violations."
Myanmar's ruling junta of generals, victorious in a violent 1988 coup, was widely denounced as brutal in its treatment of political opponents and of Mon, Karen and other ethnic insurgents active along the borders of Southeast Asia's largest nation. It had ignored the results of 1990 elections in which Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party won in a landslide. (Last month Suu Kyi narrowly escaped a government-sponsored attack, but was detained soon after and has been held since.)
Unocal already had a foot in Myanmar. In the late 1980s, the company briefly held a stake in an oil and gas exploration project in the central part of the country. Now it was interested in the Yadana, and it paid consulting firm Control Risk Group for an assessment.
The May 1992 report was frank: The government "habitually makes use of forced labour to construct roads," it said, adding that the Tatmawdaw was ordering whole villages to relocate. The goal was to cut any ties the villagers may have had with Karen and Mon rebels, a tactic the U.S. Army employed in its "strategic hamlets" relocation program in Vietnam.
"There are credible reports of military attacks on civilians in the regions," the report continued, and "the local community is already terrorized."
Back at headquarters in California, at least one executive was concerned that Unocal would be relying on the Myanmar junta to provide protection for the pipeline and that the military would be "out of our control," as Stephen Lipman, then Unocal's vice president of international affairs, recounted in a deposition.
But the oil and gas exploration project in the central part of the country had proceeded smoothly, Unocal's lawyers noted, with no evidence that locals ever had come to any harm. Oil and gas companies routinely do business in politically unpleasant or unstable climates, and it's customary for foreign governments to provide security.
Unocal made a bid, losing to French company Total. Then, early in 1993, Total took Unocal on as a partner to develop the offshore field and build the pipeline. The companies signed contracts with the government's Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise, which owns stakes in the pipeline and the field.
According to Unocal, the pipeline contract didn't specify that the military would secure the line, clear access roads, build helicopter pads or do any other infrastructure work. What's more, Unocal says, it made no contractual agreement directly with the army of Myanmar.
The plaintiffs have another view. They say that by signing a contract with the commercial arm of a military junta, the company effectively went into business with the Tatmawdaw.
Under U.S. and California law, participants in a business deal can be held responsible for one another's misconduct. As the plaintiffs' lawyers describe it, a bank that contracted with the Mafia to collect its debts could be held responsible should the mob get rough.
"When you enter into a partnership with the devil knowingly," said Dan Stormer, a Pasadena lawyer representing some of the plaintiffs, "there are going to be bad results."
John Doe 8's job for the People's Army was to carry supplies -- bullets, boots and rice -- in a basket held in place against his back by a strap stretched across his forehead. The loaded basket weighed so much he couldn't sit or stand without help. Even during the most searing hours of the tropical afternoon, the soldiers never gave him water.
"The load was so heavy and I was so hot and thirsty that I just had to suck on my own sweat," he said from a safe house, recalling how he would stick his tongue out to catch the beads of perspiration as they dripped off his brow.
The porters cleared land and built barracks for the battalions the ruling generals sent to the Tenasserim, toiling for 10- or 15-day stretches several times a year. They had to abandon their crops, sometimes for so long that they couldn't feed their families.
One day, porter John Doe 5 remembered, a fellow laborer got sick and collapsed under the weight of the basket on his back, and a soldier kicked him and punched him "over and over," leaving him on the side of the road. John Doe 5 said he later found the man's body in the brush.
In the United States, some Unocal shareholders were growing uneasy.
The international community had long decried the brutality of the Myanmar regime and its widespread use of forced labor. At Unocal's annual meeting in the spring of 1994, there was a vote on a resolution to force Unocal to issue a report on operations in Myanmar. The resolution, opposed by management, was defeated.
That spring, John Imle, then Unocal's president, had dispatched the first of several fact-finding missions to the Tenasserim.
"I thought it would be a good idea in order to be able to more directly defend ourselves against what I felt and still feel were very unfair allegations," he explained in a deposition.
The company's chief executive at the time, Roger Beach, summarized the findings: There was "absolutely no evidence of human rights violations," he wrote in December.
About the same time, with Christmas fast approaching, Jane Doe 2 and her grandniece set out on a two-day walk to buy pigs to roast for a holiday feast.
Their squealing purchases in tow, the women stopped to drink from a stream. Suddenly, they were surrounded by soldiers carrying machine guns. "They said they'd kill us," recounted Jane Doe 3, who was 17 at the time. "I was scared."
As night fell, the women said, they were marched for about two hours until they got to a bamboo forest so thick they barely could see the sky. Then someone turned on a flashlight. Jane Doe 3 said she realized that "there were soldiers everywhere."
An officer demanded that Jane Doe 2 bring her grandniece to him and then chased the older woman away with a knife. "After a while I heard my grandniece screaming for me," she said. "She was screaming and crying for my help. I yelled back, 'I cannot go near you. I cannot help.' "
The officer ripped the girl's clothes, popping the buttons off her blouse. "I cried and I didn't even realize I was crying," Jane Doe 3 said. "I was so scared. While he raped me, I cried because it was so painful. I screamed. I screamed for my great-aunt. He said, 'Don't.' He closed my mouth with his hand, and it was hard for me to breathe."
Afterward, the officer allowed her to go back to her great-aunt. They whispered to each other in the dark. The next day, the soldiers let them go.
"Before they came and built the pipeline, there were no soldiers," Jane Doe 2 said. "When the pipeline came, it destroyed our lives. We lost our home. We lost our livelihood. We lost everything."
Unocal's Imle made no apologies for the military's conduct, especially in a country beset by ethnic insurgency.
"What I'm saying is that if you threaten the pipeline, there's gonna be more military," Imle told human rights advocates who met with him at company headquarters in early 1995, according to a transcript of the session entered into evidence in the suits. "If forced labor goes hand in glove with the military, yes, there will be more forced labor. For every threat to the pipeline there will be a reaction."
Later, in a deposition, Imle sought to clarify his remarks. "I did not intend to agree that there was forced labor being used in connection with this project, because I'm not sure."
Unocal and Total mark October 1995 as the start of pipeline construction.
French, Japanese and Italian firms were hired to manufacture and lay 5,134 lengths of pipe, each weighing 5 tons. The project employed 2,500 people, including 300 expatriates and 2,200 locals. The work, limited to the dry months from October to April, was completed in 1998.
The two companies maintain that -- as distinct from the porters conscripted by the army -- all the workers hired by the pipeline contractors were voluntary and adequately paid. "We built everything," said Jean du Rusquec, head of exploration and production in Myanmar for Total. "We built the roads. We built the helipads. We built the bridges. We built the wharf."
The plaintiffs say it wasn't that simple.
Before the building of the pipeline began, according to court filings and interviews with plaintiffs, some of the forced laborers chopped trees and pulled out muscular roots to clear the jungle floor for infrastructure later used by Unocal and Total.
John Doe 9 testified that he was forced to lay roads leading to the pipeline construction area and help build a helipad that was used by Unocal and Total executives visiting the region. John Roe 10 testified that he too was pressed into working on helipads.
John Doe 7 said in an interview that one day, while he was clearing the ground for a helipad, a chopper touched down and dropped off three "Westerners," who he assumed were pipeline workers. He said he got a good look at the strangers, but they didn't see him. His overseers, he said, "knew the helicopter was coming and told us to stop work and hide in the bushes."
The companies say villagers who believe they were forced to work on pipeline-related projects must be confused. Some may have worked on a government-run railway that used forced labor; the two projects run along perpendicular lines, at one point intersecting.
One of the road laborers, John Doe 1, could take only so much.
After the rice he had brought with him ran out, his wife recalled, the hunger pangs were unbearable and he fled. He collected her and their two children, and they set out to find a refuge in the jungle. Along the way, their 2-year-old son died. But they didn't change course.
"It was very difficult," said Jane Doe 1. "We ran out of money, and we knew if we went near the military we'd be working a lot for the army."
Soldiers eventually found them, she said, about a month after she had given birth to a daughter in the fall of 1994. They came when her husband was away fishing, and that is when she was beaten and she and her newborn kicked into the fire.
As Jane Doe 1 searched for medical assistance, she said, she, her baby and her older daughter were caught twice by soldiers, who robbed them and forced them to sleep outside in the cold. When they reached the border camp about two weeks after the assault, doctors told Jane Doe 1 that her baby had a broken back and had been bleeding internally for some time. "They said there was no hope."
She held Baby Doe in her arms for two days, comforting her until she died.
"The project of the white people turned our life upside down," Jane Doe 1 said. "We believe they are responsible for that."
Just how much Unocal executives knew about specific episodes is far from clear. In May 1995, a Unocal representative told officials from the U.S. Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar's capital, that "the military had not given Total/Unocal foreign staff access to the helipads within many miles of the border during the period of their construction."
"It is possible that some of those complaining of abuses to journalists and human rights groups," an embassy cable to the State Department concluded, may be from areas "where the Burmese military might have had a freer hand out of range of the direct oversight of the oil companies."
Executives from Unocal and Total take pride in their efforts to improve the lives of thousands of villagers in Myanmar.
The companies have spent about $1 million a year to help build schools, medical clinics, a pig farm and other facilities. They hired and trained teachers and midwives. And they brought the first doctors to the area to treat malaria victims, inoculate children and perform emergency caesarean sections.
Some of the companies' efforts to reach out to locals, however, are being used against them in court.
Total, for instance, paid porters engaged by the military. It also gave them food as well as physical exams, according to an embassy cable. John Doe 8, for one, said a doctor brought in by Total once handed him 600 kyat, the equivalent of about $10.
Though Unocal and Total paint such acts as gestures of goodwill, the plaintiffs portray them as evidence that the companies were in league with the Tatmawdaw.
In February 1996, Herve Chagnoux, then Total's regional coordinator, captured what he saw as the ambiguity. When it came to the military's use of conscripted labor, he wrote to Unocal, "let us admit between Unocal and Total that we might be in a gray zone."
Others believe that the situation was more black-and-white.
John Haseman, a former military attache at the U.S. Embassy in Yangon who worked as a consultant to Unocal, told the company in December 1995 that there was no doubt "egregious human rights violations have occurred and are occurring now" in the Tenasserim.
In a letter, Haseman said that Unocal's reputation had been harmed when one of its spokesmen was quoted as saying the company was satisfied with the Myanmar military's assurances that human rights weren't being abused in the pipeline region.
That, Haseman wrote, made Unocal appear "at best naive and at worst a willing partner in the situation."
The Unocal lawsuits were filed in 1996. Jane Doe 1 and her family live on the food her husband receives in exchange for odd jobs, often no more than a tin or two of rice a day.
Before fleeing to Thailand, "I had my own farm, my rice fields, my kettles, my house," she said, as she fed her youngest, a daughter born last year, a bottle of sugar water.
"We never had hunger. We had extra food. Now I live on nothing. We used to own our land, and they took it away. They made a big hole in our lives."
Unocal says her situation, tragic though it may be, isn't the company's doing.
"Unocal is not responsible for all bad things that happen in Burma" just because it invested in a pipeline project there, said Daniel Petrocelli, a Los Angeles lawyer who represents the company. "That's the logical extension of this case and of the story of this woman and her family.
"How can Unocal be responsible for that?" (Los Angeles Times, June 15, 2003).

Unocal Hearing Focuses on Liability Standards, By Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2003.
Arguments in the groundbreaking case over Unocal Corp.'s alleged complicity in human rights violations in Myanmar focused Tuesday on whether the oil company should be judged by the same standards as Nazi collaborators and war criminals in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
Judges on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals grilled lawyers on a key question in the case against Unocal, in which plaintiffs seek to hold the El Segundo company liable for murder, rape and forced labor allegedly committed by soldiers in the country, formerly known as Burma.
Two lawsuits, filed in 1996 by 15 Myanmar refugees, maintain that Unocal signed on to a $1.2-billion natural gas pipeline project with the commercial arm of the ruling junta knowing that human rights would be abused during the project. Unocal argues it had no control over Myanmar soldiers and shouldn't be held liable for their actions.
In an hourlong hearing in a San Francisco courtroom, judges asked lawyers to explain how Unocal should be judged: by standards drawn from federal case law or from international war crimes tribunals. The judges are considering whether Unocal should stand trial and, if so, how jurors should decide whether the company is liable.
Unocal's lawyer, Randy Oppenheimer, argued that the questions were moot because the plaintiffs had no right to a trial over abuses alleged to have occurred in another country.
But Judges A. Wallace Tashima and M. Margaret McKeown prodded Oppenheimer to drop that argument, pointing out that the 9th Circuit this month upheld a foreigner's right to bring suit in the U.S. over alleged human rights abuses. That case, involving a doctor allegedly kidnapped in Mexico at the behest of U.S. drug agents, was at least the third that the 9th Circuit has approved under the Alien Tort Claims Act, which allows foreigners to sue in U.S. courts for human rights abuses abroad.
In the Myanmar pipeline case, a three-judge 9th Circuit panel ruled in September there was enough evidence for a jury to hold Unocal indirectly liable. The ruling marked the first time a company was ordered to stand trial under the alien tort law. Unocal appealed and won a hearing by the 11-judge panel.
The larger panel issued an order setting up Tuesday's arguments by saying it was interested in hearing arguments on the question that had split the three-judge panel: How should jurors be instructed to decide whether the company is liable?
Though all three agreed the case should go to trial, Judge Stephen Reinhardt departed from the majority opinion that Unocal should be judged by an aiding-and-abetting test drawn from international law. Instead, he wrote that common domestic tort theories ó such as reckless disregard for the consequences of a business venture and shared liability for partners in a joint enterprise ó would suffice.
On Tuesday, plaintiffs' lawyers argued that Unocal's financing and close working relationship with the junta in Myanmar constituted liability under either U.S. or international law. But several judges expressed confusion and concern about the application of international war crimes standards, such as whether "moral support" alone could be grounds for a finding of indirect liability.
"Sometimes they get it wrong," Judge Alex Kozinski said of international tribunals.
Kozinski pressed plaintiffs' lawyers on vicarious liability. He asked whether he would be liable "if I'm sitting at home with the tennis shoes that were made by slave labor?"
One plaintiffs attorney, Terry Collingsworth, said the answer would be no, though he added that the question went beyond the issues presented in the Unocal suits. Unlike Kozinski's hypothetical shoe buyer, he said, Unocal "provided logistics, material support, vehicles. They assigned the military to go out every day, and this went on for years."
Unocal's Oppenheimer countered that the forced labor allegedly used to help build pipeline infrastructure amounted to legal temporary conscription and wasn't a modern variant of slavery. Some forms of conscription "are just not part of international law," he said.
When pressed to say what standard of liability should apply if such labor were a violation, Oppenheimer said the judges should look to cases decided by U.S. courts. He pointed to a series of cases that he said concluded that a company can't be liable for police abuse just because the company alerted local authorities to a crime. A company may be held liable only if it holds a measure of control over the police, he said.
Judge Reinhardt questioned whether cases involving the summoning of police "in the context of a democratic government where you assume the government is law-abiding" were relevant to a case involving Burmese soldiers renowned for abusing civilians.
Oppenheimer reiterated Unocal's position that "when an investment is made when there is no ability to control ... then there is no liability."
To that, Judge McKeown, said: "You've basically endorsed the blind-eye theory. You can walk all the way to the water. But then, as long as the other guy pushes you in, you're not liable."
The appellate court took the case under advisement. The three-judge panel deliberated for more than a year before issuing its ruling. (Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2003).

Court Orders Unocal to Stand Trial for Abuses in Burma. EarthRights International, News Release, Sept. 15, 2004.
California Superior Court Judge Victoria Chaney yesterday rejected an attempt by Unocal Corp. to dismiss a lawsuit charging it is responsible for human rights abuses committed by the notoriously brutal Burmese military on behalf of Unocalís Yadana Pipeline project in southern Burma. The Courtís denial of the oil companyís motion for a judgment in their favor clears the way for a jury trial to begin after eight years of litigation.
"There is abundant evidence that the Burmese military, Unocalís project partner, forced villagers to perform hard labor against their will and committed widespread human rights violations for Unocalís benefit," said Richard Herz of EarthRights International, co-counsel for the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs in John Doe I, et. al. v. Unocal Corp., et al. are villagers who lived near the pipeline. Some were forced to work on pipeline infrastructure by the military. The remainder suffered other egregious abuses including murder, rape and other torture at the hands of soldiers providing "security" for the project.
Unocal had argued the case should not proceed in light of the Courtís previous ruling that the Unocal subsidiaries the company claims were involved in the project were separate entities from Unocal. Judge Chaney rejected that argument, holding that her prior decision "does not preclude [the plaintiffs] from proving defendants controlled specific aspects of the Yadana project to an extent beyond that permissible by a mere owner."
Dan Stormer, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said today, "This is a total victory and vindication for the victims. Now Unocal will have to defend its despicable actions before a California jury."
Paul Hoffman, co-counsel for the plaintiffs and cooperating attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), concurred: "This is an important decision, not only because it allows Unocal to be held liable for abuses committed overseas, but also because it tells other multinational corporations that go into business with repressive dictatorships that they are responsible for their partnersí human rights violations." Judith Chomsky of CCR added: "After eight years of litigation, the plaintiffs will finally have their day in court. We are confident that a jury reviewing the facts of this case will be horrified at Unocalís behavior."
Plaintiffs are represented by Paul Hoffman of Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris and Hoffman; Anne Richardson, Dan Stormer, Cornelia Dai and Marco Simons of Hadsell & Stormer, Judith Chomsky and Jennie Green of the Center for Constitutional Rights and EarthRights International."

Unocal to Settle Abuse Lawsuit: The El Segundo firm agrees to pay to end a landmark case brought by refugees claiming rights violations along a Myanmar pipeline. By Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2004
Unocal Corp. said Monday that it would settle a landmark human rights lawsuit brought by 15 refugees from Myanmar who claimed it was responsible for beatings, rapes and murders allegedly committed by soldiers along the route of a natural gas pipeline in the Southeast Asian nation.
Terms of the settlement are still being negotiated, and neither Unocal nor lawyers representing the plaintiffs would disclose details. In a joint statement, the two sides said the El Segundo-based company would pay the plaintiffs an unspecified amount of money and fund programs to improve living conditions for people who live near the $1.2-billion pipeline and "who may have suffered hardships."
The case against Unocal was seen as a key test for human rights activists who want to hold multinationals responsible in U.S. courts for atrocities committed in other countries. About three dozen similar suits have been filed in the last 11 years against other major U.S. corporations, including ChevronTexaco Corp., Ford Motor Co. and IBM Corp.
None has gone to trial, and none has moved as far along in the judicial system as the Unocal suits, filed in 1996. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had been scheduled to hear arguments Monday on whether the case should go to trial.
A settlement would be a breakthrough. "Nobody can treat these cases as a joke any more," said Elliot Schrage, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who lectures on the litigation trend at Columbia University's business and law schools.
U.S. business groups and the Bush administration have pressed the courts to turn back the tide of litigation from abroad, and other experts said a settlement in such a high-profile case could encourage lawyers to file more and broader human rights abuse suits.
"Major multinationals are terrified," said Susan Aaronson, director of the Kenan Institute's Washington Center for Globalization Studies. "They are absolutely terrified."
For eight years, Unocal vigorously defended itself against the claims that it turned a blind eye to violent acts allegedly committed by soldiers assigned to guard the pipeline, in which Unocal is a partner with the French oil company Total and the military junta that rules the country formerly known as Burma.
Unocal was steadfast in its argument that it shouldn't be held liable for alleged abuses by the soldiers but acknowledged that they had a role in securing the pipeline corridor.
On Monday, in the statement issued jointly with the plaintiffs' lawyers, Unocal didn't refer to its legal defense. A Unocal spokesman said a confidentiality agreement between the two sides prevented him from elaborating on the statement. Daniel Petrocelli, the head of Unocal's defense team, didn't return calls.
The plaintiffs' lawyers declined to discuss details pending completion of the deal but said they were pleased with the outcome.
"We're thrilled," said Katie Redford, co-founder of EarthRights International, a human rights organization that helped the refugees file suit.
The statement, 123 words long, quoted Unocal as reaffirming "its principle that the company respects human rights in all its activities and commits to enhance its educational programs to further this principle."
Heidi Quante, a representative of the Burma Project in San Francisco, said the fact that Unocal had reached an agreement "speaks louder than any words they've spoken heretofore."
"You would not settle if you did not think you were guilty," she said.
The agreement is expected to be finalized in a month or two. The company and the plaintiffs are to report back to the 9th Circuit Court if the negotiations drag on past Feb. 1.
Unocal wouldn't be the first U.S. company to resolve a human rights case out of court. In 2002, for example, dozens of retailers, including Gap Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co., settled suits filed in U.S. courts by factory workers from Saipan who claimed that they made clothes in sweatshops.
In the Unocal case, the plaintiffs, who lived in the remote region near the pipeline, allege that they and their relatives were forced to help clear a path through thick jungle for the project, laboring in tropical heat with little rest, food or water.
They claim that the soldiers were brutal, murdering a baby to retaliate for her father's escape from forced labor and raping a girl and her great-aunt, who had ventured close to the pipeline to retrieve a pig for a Christmas feast.
Out of fear for their safety, the plaintiffs live in hiding in Southeast Asia. They were allowed to file their suit in the U.S. as John and Jane Does to protect their anonymity.
In interviews with The Times two years ago, several of them recounted what they suffered during the construction of the pipeline project.
"Until the pipeline came, we were free," the plaintiff known as Jane Doe 1 told The Times. "Burmese soldiers were fairy tales. We never saw them. But they came with the pipeline."
The resolution of the Unocal case could shape the futures of the suits pending against the other U.S. corporations. All of them were filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act, a 215-year-old law revived in the late 1970s to bring suits in the U.S. against foreign dictators and multinational corporations over alleged abuses abroad. Two years ago, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court ruled that Unocal should face trial, saying it found reason to believe that the company "gave assistance and encouragement to the Myanmar military."
In June, in another case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Alien Tort Claims Act, ruling that foreigners could file lawsuits in U.S. courts to address some human rights abuses overseas.
The high court didn't, however, spell out whether corporations could be held liable for an indirect role in such abuses.
The other human rights suits pending against U.S. companies involve alleged abuses in Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria and other countries with poor human rights records.
China, the world's most populous country and increasingly a key manufacturing partner for American producers of a host of goods, isn't on the list. The Kenan Institute's Aaronson said a Unocal settlement could add to the worries of U.S. companies doing business there.
"Every company feels it has to be in China, but they have no real means of controlling their multitude of suppliers," she said. "So that's the new frontier." (Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2004).

Unocal Settles Out of Court With Myanmar Villagers. Environmental News Service (ENS), Dec 17, 2004.
Oil giant Unocal has settled out of court in two lawsuits filed in the United States by villagers in Myanmar who allege the company benefited from human rights abuses they suffered during the construction of the Yadana gas pipeline.
The 15 unnamed villagers sued Unocal in 1996, claiming the company should be held liable for murder, rape, torture, extortion, forced labor, and the forced relocation of whole villages allegedly perpetrated by the Myanmar military during construction of the $1.2 billion Yadana pipeline.
The pipeline, which carries gas from the Yadana gas field in the Andaman Sea to Thailand through Myanmar, or Burma, was completed in 1998.
Unocal is a junior partner in the Yadana project operated by Total, the French energy group, with Thailand's PTT and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. Unocal has a 28 percent stake in both the gas production company and the pipeline. Thailand uses 90 percent of the gas produced to fire power plants in Bangkok. The gas field is expected to yield for 30 years.
Alleging that they were forced to work on the pipeline against their will The villagers filed lawsuits in California state and federal courts. Terms of the "settlement in principle" were not announced, but it is certain to be a multi-million dollar figure.
In a joint announcement Monday, Unocal and Earth Rights International, representing the plaintiffs, said the settlement, "will compensate plaintiffs and provide funds enabling plaintiffs and their representatives to develop programs to improve living conditions, health care and education and protect the rights of people from the pipeline region."
"These initiatives will provide substantial assistance to people who may have suffered hardships in the region," according to the joint statement.
Unocal reaffirmed its principle "that the company respects human rights in all of its activities and commits to enhance its educational programs to further this principle." Plaintiffs and their representatives reaffirmed their commitment to protecting human rights.
The abuses are alleged to have arisen when the companies contracted with the Myanmar military regime to provide security for the Yadana project. Earth Rights International said it has documented "a pattern of systematic human rights abuses and environmental degradation" on the part of the military on the Yadana project.
Earth Rights International says the pipeline project brought increased illegal hunting, logging, and wildlife trade to the previously isolated Tenasserim region
One of the largest rainforest tracts left in mainland Southeast Asia, it is still inhabited by wild elephants, tigers, and rhinos. The indigenous peoples are suffering "the negative impacts of the environmental destruction" as well as "human rights abuses at the hands of the soldiers brought into the area by Unocal and Total."
Unocal has repeatedly attempted to get the lawsuits dismissed. On the state level, in mid-September a California state judge rejected a new Unocal appeal for dismissal, clearing the way for a jury trial to begin. Unocal apparently decided to settle the case rather than endure a trial by jury.
The settlement was announced days ahead of a scheduled hearing of the federal case before the full panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The hearing was canceled at the request of both parties.
The federal court set a February 1, 2005, deadline for both sides to file a joint status report on whether a settlement had been finalized.
The lawsuits were brought under an old law that was not used until recently - the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789. Originally aimed at acts of piracy, this law allows victims of international human rights abuses to sue in U.S. courts.
The legal action was brought against Unocal on the grounds that the company benefited from the military's behavior even if it did not participate in it or endorse it.
There have been fears on the part of the U.S. government and business associations that if the action succeeded, it could lead to a host of similar claims by indigenous peoples around the world whose lands had been used for pipelines or oil drilling carried out by multinational corporations based in the United States.
John E. Howard, vice president of international policy and programs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, says the Alien Tort Claims Act (ACTA) is being misused and should be repealed.
In October 2002, he wrote, "Expansion of this problem into the international arena via ATCA promises nothing but trouble for U.S. economic and foreign policy interests worldwide. This is why ATCA's misuse must be checked - and efforts to obtain its repeal must begin - now! U.S. national interests require that we not allow the continuing misapplication of this 18th century statute to 21st century problems by the latter day pirates of the plaintiffs' bar."
For its part, Total says, "We deeply regret how the situation in Myanmar is developing." Jean du Rusquec, head of mission, Myanmar, says the company considered withdrawing from the Yadana project, although no European or international law requires it to do so, but decided to stay
Jean du Rusquec is Total's head of mission for Myanmar. (Photo courtesy Total)
"Protecting villagers and prohibiting the use of forced labor, which is still a real problem in Myanmar, has been Total's constant concern since 1995, when we first entered the region where the pipeline was to be laid," du Rusquec said.
But, said du Rusquec, poverty gives rise to human rights abuses, and the Yadana gas project is not only lucrative for Total, it produces financial benefits for Myanmar and the local villagers. "We firmly believe that a country's economic development is intrinsically linked to its human rights record," he said.
Total's position of "political neutrality" in Myanmar "does not mean that we are indifferent, especially on issues related to human rights, environmental protection and development," he said. "We are developing the country's natural gas resources using efficient methods consistent with the principles of sustainable development."
Earth Rights International warns that another Yadana is in the making.
In January 2004, with the approval of the Myanmar government, a consortium of South Korean and Indian companies announced plans to develop a largenatural gas field in the Gulf of Bengal, off the country's west coast.
This new project, known as Shwe, which means "gold" in Burmese, is still in its early planning stages.
In Earth Rights Internationalís view, "an alarming number of similarities already exist between the Yadana Pipeline and the proposed Shwe Pipeline. If nothing is done, it appears likely that history will repeat itself. Forced labor and human rights abuses are still an ongoing problem throughout Burma, and it can be assumed that these violations will continue at any major development project site."
Earth Rights International was founded by Ka Hsaw Wa, a Burmese activist and his wife Katie Redford, a human rights attorney. A Goldman Prize recipient in 1999 for his work in bringing the Yadana pipeline abuses to public attention, Ka Hsaw Wa has interviewed more than a thousand victims and witnesses of human rights and environmental abuses, and brought their stories to light. (Environmental News Service (ENS), Dec 17, 2004).


Unocal built a sour gas plant on Lubicon Lake Cree Nation land in northern Alberta, Canada; the plant received a permit from the Alberta oil and gas regulatory agency ERCB to operate, despite the fact that the land has never been ceded by the Cree. In 1985-86, the Lubicon opposed construction of a Unocal pipeline and ERCB agreed at that time that no resource exploitation could take place with Lubicon agreement. Oil was discovered on Lubicon Cree land in 1979; betwen 1979 and 1983, more than 400 oil and gas wells were drilled within 15 miles of the traditional Lubicon community of Little Buffalo. The drilling generates more than $500 million in annual revenues for oil companies and the Alberta government. Between 1980 and 1995, $8 billion was generated by Unocal, Norcen, Nova, and Husky; Alberta receives 20 percent. Unocal's retail outlet is the Union 76 gasoline stations. Lubicon hunting has suffered; welfare has risen from 10 to 95 percent; birth defects, tuberculosis, alcoholism, and respiratory and skin diseases have appeared (Western Canada Wilderness Committee's Lubicon Campaign Report, Fall 1995; Burma Issues, Nov. 1995, p. 3, citing Friends of the Lubicon Report, Jan. 21, 1995 (Friends of the Lubicon, 485 Ridelle Ave, Toronto ON M6B 1K6, 416-783-4694); Toronto Star, July 14, 1995; and the Unocal Information Campaign, c/o Dorothy Hill, Box 192, 253 College St, Toronto ON M5T 1R5, Canada).

Charter Revocation Sought

In 1998, a coalition of public interest groups filed a petition with State of California to have Unocal's corporate charter revoked because of its record of environmental devastation, unethical and unfair treatment of workers, deception, usurpation of political power, undermining of U.S.foreign policy, and complicity in unspeakable human rights violations by foreign governments with which it does business against women, gays, laborers, villagers, ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples." Contact the National Lawyers Guild's International Law Project for Human, Economic & Environmental Defense, 8124 W. Third Street, Suite 201, Los Angeles CA 90048, Telephone 213/736-1094, Fax 213/380-3769, E-mail,


Oil concessions in the Oriente of Ecuador (Rainforest Action Network Action Alert, No. 50, July 1990). Unocal's Pastaza, Ecuador exploratory drilling may depend on a World Bank loan to Petroecuador (World Rainforest Report, Jan. 1991, p. 4; and Earth Island Journal, Winter 1991, p. 11).


Philippine Geothermal, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unocal involved in geothermal energy development in Tiwi, Philippines. The Philippine Dept. of Health recommended in September 1989 that residents of the area be evacuated because of hydrogen sulfide emissions from the drilling. Mercury poisoning of water is also suspected. Unocal (through its Philippine subsidiary) may also be involved in the Mt. Apo geothermal project on Mindanao. See the Catalyst, v.7 n.1, 1990. In January 1992, Philippine Geothermal vice president and general manager Michael Barnes was kidnapped and held for ransom (Los Angeles Times, Feb. 15, 1992). He was rescued in March 1992.

San Francisco Bay

According to Western Canada Wilderness Committee's Lubicon Campaign Report (Fall 1995), Citizens for a Better Environment is going to court to halt Unocal's pollution of San Francisco Bay with selenium and dioxin; Unocal responsible for a 15-year-long toxic leak at its San Luis Obispo facility; see also CBE's Posion for Profit report (CBE, 500 Howard St, Suite 506, San Francisco CA 94105, 415-243-8387). 




Depo-Provera hormonal contraceptive sold in 90 countries, though the US FDA has refused to approve it for use in the US (Multinational Monitor, Nov. 1991, p. 31-32, which also discusses Upjohn's controversial Halcion sleeping drug, and toxic wastes released by Upjohn).




United Paper Mills combined with Kymmene to create the second-largest paper producer in the world in 1994, producing more than six million tons of magazine, fine papers, and newsprint; owns 10,000 square kilometers in Finland; imports wood from Uruguay (where UPM-Kymmene and Royal Dutch Shell are forming the 30,000-hectare Forestal Oriente eucapyptus plantation); UPM-Kymmene also plans Turkish plantations (Carrere and Lohmann, Pulping the South, pp. 106-107, 192).

"UPM-Kymmene of Finland and Singapore-based Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd.(APRIL), have agreed to establish a strategic alliance to develop jointly their respective fine paper operations in Europe and Asia. In Europe, UPM-Kymmene will hold 70% and APRIL 30% of a new company called UPM-Kymmene Fine Paper, which will comprise UPM-Kymmene's fine paper units, Nordland Papier in Germany and Kymi in Finland. This new company will be the largest fine paper producer in Europe with a combined annual capacity of 1.7 million tonnes of paper and 460,000 tonnes of related pulp. Similarly, in Asia, APRIL will hold 70% and UPM-Kymmene 30% of a new company, APRIL Fine Paper, which will comprise APRIL's paper mills under construction in Sumatra, Indonesia and China. These mills are expected to come into production in 1997 and 1998. Even if APRIL states that it is not involved in logging in rainforests, the fact is that the material basis of the new alliance is the nearby Riau Pulp pulpmill, whose production is almost completely based on rainforest wood. The mill, which started operations in 1994, produced last year about 600,000 tonnes of short-fibre pulp from natural forests. Until now the company has only planted 7,000 hectares of acacia, which are not only totally insufficient to feed the giant mill, but additionally will only be ready for logging by the year 2002. It is expected that the mill will run on rainforest wood, which will be needed at a rate of over 3 million m3/year. This will mean clearcuts of at least 25,000 hectares of rainforest each year and a total of 200,000 hectares. APRIL has also a bad reputation in the social area. Land acquisitions by the company have caused serious conflicts with local communities and working conditions in its pulp and paper mills are poor. (World Rainforest Movement Bulletin No. 6, Nov. 1997, citing Friends of the Earth-Finland Forest Group. Press release 15.9.97. For further information, please contact: Marko Ulvila +358 3 212 0097;




Tyndales and Urgales are two Russian-North Korean joint ventures in the Khabarovsk and Amur regions of Eastern Siberia. In the past 25 years, North Koreans working under slave-like conditions have clearcut about 700,000 hectares of forest. It is believed that 15,000 to 20,000 North Koreans are still working there, though the Russian government refused to extend the agreement in 1993, hinting that private corporations from other countries, including the U.S., the UK, Germany, and Finland may invest in the projects (Taiga News, Jan. 1994, p. 6).



Boise Idaho

A load of mercury-laden sludge from overseas on its way to Nevada should either be handled in Taiwan or enter through a California port, but it should not go through Oregon, Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-OR) said. Boise-based U.S. Ecology, a waste disposal company, wants to use Oregon as a port of entry for 18,000 sealed 50-gallon drums of sludge from a Taiwanese plastics company. The waste was originally disposed of in Cambodia "illegally" and is blamed for the death of a Cambodian dock worker. Now, U.S. Ecology wants to transport the sludge to a facility near Beatty, NV, where it would extract the mercury and dispose of its remains. Kitzhaber said the waste should be handled in Taiwan; otherwise, a California port would be "the logical route to the site." Kitzhaber: "Apparently, the only reason to use an Oregon port is to avoid the negative publicity and protests that could occur at California ports." U.S. Ecology is considering Los Angeles as a port of entry (Greenwire, March 20, 2000, citing AP/Portland Oregonian online, March 18).




Proposed $309 million sale of 600,000 acres of Weyerhaeuser land and Klamath Falls mills in southern Oregon to U.S. Timberlands, a limited partnership of former Roseburg, Champion, and Riverwood timber executives, along with former assistant secretary of agriculture John Beuter, timber tax specialist George Hornig, and financing by Deutsche Morgan Grenfell; the mills would be sold to the Portland-based timber company Collins Products; a 1995 proposal to sell the land to Roseburg Forest Products was rejected (Mayes, Steve. Weyerhaeuser formulates new sales deal for land, mills. Oregonian, July 24, 1996; reprinted in Transitions, July-August 1996, p. 4, 6).




6000 Grant St.

Pittsburgh PA 15219


U.S. Steel was began in 1901, when J.P. Morgan bought Carnegie out for half a billion dollars. USX now produces steel and oil and sells gas in 16 states, and produces oil and gas in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Indonesia, Ireland, Norway, Tunisia, the UK, and the U.S. Sixty nine percent of its 1990 sales came from energy, 29 percent from steel, 3 percent from diversified businesses. USX is involved in coal mining, auto parts, Cyclone fencing, Marathon Oil (purchased in 1982), land management, real estate development, financial services, and joint ventures with South Korea's Pohang in Pittsburg California and with Kobe in Lorain Ohio (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1992).

Marathon Oil:

USX subsidiary Marathon is part of a consortium studying oil reserves off Sakhalin Island (Russia and Japan) (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 5, 1992, p. A4).

See also Pertamina.

USX was on the Council on Economic Priorities' short list for worst environmental offenders, for toxic wastewater at its Gary Indiana steelworks, air pollution in Pennsylvania, and its Texas City hydrofluoric acid leak in 1987 (Mother Jones, Jan/Feb 1993; and Earth Island Journal, Winter 1993, p. 20).



UTAH subsidiary of BHP


Indonesian coal contracts: Arutmin and Utah Indonesia (Mining Magazine, Mar. 1992, p. 149).

See also Utah International Mining.




Coal contract owned by BHP. Southwest of Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia (Mining Magazine, Mar. 1992, p. 149).




Subsidiary of General Electric. Paid Navajo a fraction of than market price for coal royalties (Peter Wolf, Land in America, 1981, p. 76).