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Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Newsletter | March 28, 2004

1. Coca-Cola Hunger Strike Ends in Colombia

A communique from SINALTRAINAL below reports of significant progress in the struggle to save jobs, but the Campaign must continue. Because of the courage of the hunger strikers as well as the solidarity shown by supporters throughout the world, the hunger strike has ended and negotiations have begun to save the jobs of the workers. However, SINALTRAINAL will continue to need the support of the worldwide Campaign to win its greater goals & the end of the murders, torture and kidnapping and the agreement to protect the safety of the workers and compensate the victims.

2. Letter from Canadian Labour Congress President Kenneth V. Georgetti to Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham urging him to instruct the Canadian Embassy in Bogota to investigate the situation of the hunger strikers and "to urge the [Colombian government] to actively undertake a strategy to help resolve this situation by mediating an agreement that avoids more loss of life and the destruction of the trade union." (See letter at killercoke.org/pdf/graham.pdf)

3. Resolution/petition to remove Coke products from the Evergreen State, Washington campus (see resolution at www.killercoke.org/student.htm or www.killercoke.org/resolutions.php).

4. Petition opposing the renewal of the Coke contract at the Rutgers University, New Jersey campus(see petition at www.killercoke.org/student.htm or www.killercoke.org/resolutions.php).

1. Coca-Cola Hunger Strike Ends in Colombia

TALKS START WITH COCA-COLA

After 276 hours on hunger strike, national talks have been initiated with the corporation in an attempt to reach agreement that will allow the relocation of the workers displaced by its closure of 11 bottling plants.

In a meeting carried out with the company's President in Colombia, Senor JUAN CARLOS JARAMILLO, the following agreements were reached:

1. On 2nd April there will be a further meeting between the company and the trade union at which SINALTRAINAL will present a proposal for reordering the production process. Delegates from all the plants in conflict will attend the meeting, and the corporation will provide the necessary resources and permits.

2. The company will not take reprisals against the participants in the hunger strike protest and it will revoke the sanctions already imposed.

3. The company will grant two weeks paid leave to the hunger strikers so that they can recover physically, and it will pay for the medical treatment that they require to achieve their full recuperation.

4. The company will pay for the publication of a notice in a national daily newspaper in which it will demand that the protesters' claims and the lives of its workers be respected.

We give immense thanks for the help and solidarity shown to us from all the corners of the world, without which it would not have been possible to gain this agreement. There had to be twelve days of hunger strike - to the point that its participants were feeling the effects physically and mentally - before the company finally accepted the need for talks, to listen to its workers, to give them the chance to speak. Twelve days of sacrifice and threats from the paramilitaries so that the workers could be heard. It is only the unity, the solidarity and the strength of our just cause that got the company to commit itself to discussing with the union alternatives to the labour execution of the workers.

This has been a very important triumph for struggle and solidarity in defence of human rights at the national and international level. But the causes that generated the protest have still not been resolved, it is just that a process of dialogue has been initiated that could lead to resolving them.

Today more than ever we must be united and strong and all those who with dignity, fortitude and love for our cause have accompanied us, must continue doing so in order to guarantee a just and prompt solution for the workers.

SINALTRAINAL maintains its wish for dialogue in the search for solutions that will safeguard jobs and labour stability for our comrades. As a sign of the political maturity that we have been characterised with, we have decided unilaterally to end the hunger strike from 6.00 a.m. 27th March 2004 in an endeavour to reach a rapid solution to the conflict. We will keep our members and the organisations participating in the world-wide campaign against Coca Cola informed of the outcome of the talks.

S0LIDARITY IS AFFECTION BETWEEN PEOPLES.

THANK YOU FOR SHOWING US THIS TENDERNESS.

WE WILL CONTINUE BUILDING RESISTANCE AND ADVANCING TOWARDS NEW DAWNS.

A HUGE EMBRACE TO ALL.

NATIONAL LEADERSHIP SINALTRAINAL

27th March 2004