Resolution of the Coventry University Student Union [UK]
This Union Notes
1. That Coventry University Student Union is a member of the NUS Services Limited (NUSSL). NUSSL has exclusive contracts with Coca-Cola.
2. An International boycott of all Coca-Cola products was called by SINALTRAINAL (Colombian Food and Drinks Workers' Union) on the 22 July 2003.
3. The Coca-Cola Company stands accused of making profits on the back of assassinations, imprisonment, displacement, kidnapping, death threats and dismissals of trade unionists in Colombia. 8 Coca-Cola workers have been assassinated.
4. The statement by paramilitary forces in January 2003 that, on instructions from management, they intended to kill members of SINALTRAINAL because they were interfering with the business of the Coca-Cola bottler at the Barranquilla facility.
5. Despite employees' deaths and allegations of violence they have refused to cooperate with demands for investigations into these assertions in Columbia.
6. The call for solidarity from farmers in India living around Coca-Cola plants. The India Resource Centre (which is supporting farmers in their campaign against Coke) says the company is guilty of: "Causing Severe Water Shortages in Communities Across India; Polluting Groundwater and Soil Around its Bottling Facilities; Distributing its Toxic Waste as 'Fertilizer' to Farmers") In May 2003 the health officer for the local village council found that the "hardness and chloride content in [ground] water is very high" and described the water as "unfit to drink". Also crop yields have started to decline, partly as a result of Coca-Cola's massive extraction of water. (Central Groundwater Board of India)
7. The World Social Forum, with the United Steelworkers of America, trade unions in Colombia, the UK public sector union, UNISON and numerous social organisations around the world have all joined in the boycott
8. Many universities in Ireland and England (Bristol, Bradford, Edinburgh, Middlesex, Sussex, Leeds and Oxford) have voted to join the boycott and are trying to influence the dissolution of exclusive contracts.
This Union Believes
1. The monopoly Coca-Cola have in our Union removes our freedom of choice
2 . That Coke should work with an independent investigation into whether Coke was complicit with human rights abuses.
3. CUSU should take action to provide our members with an ethical alternative by ending Coca-Cola's monopoly in our Union.
This Union Resolves
1. To request full dispensation from NUSSL so as to allow our bar and shops to stop exclusively selling the recommended NUSSL product and sell an ethical alternative like virgin cola or Ben Shaws, or to sell these products alongside it.
2. Not to pro actively seek advertising or sponsorship of any kind from Coco-Cola. To boycott ad hoc purchases of Coca-Coca
3. To make information available regarding the current accusations and legal challenges from the many global organisations against Coca-Cola, in all places that it is sold. Such as placing at least quarter page adverts for the boycott coke campaign in our newspaper SOURCE before the end of summer term. This campaign must not break any current contracts or leave the Students Union open to libel.
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