Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Update March 26, 2007
Contents of Newsletter
- College Updates
- Canadian Universities
- Florida International University
- Fresno City College, Reedley College, Clovis Center, Madera Center & Oakhurst Center
- SUNY [State University of New York] Albany
- SUNY Stony Brook
- Trinity College: More on the Killer Coke victory
- University of Kent, UK
- University of Manchester: Huge Victory in the UK
- Cornell Northeast USAS Conference
- Hypocrisy Rises in "American Airlines/Coca-Cola Partnership"
- Teamsters Union Condemns Coke
- Coke & Morocco: A note from the webmaster:
- Center for the Study of Political Graphics Highlights Killer Coke
- Support the Struggle against Coke's business partner McDonald's
- Respondents in European-wide Survey Say Coca-Cola Not Making a Positive Contribution to Society
- International Day of Action Against Coke Coming up on March 27
- Another Coca-Cola PR Scam to Mislead Consumers
- Give Us Your Stock Proxies for the April 18th Coke Shareholders Meeting
- Huffington Post Headline: Chiquita to Pay $25M in Terror Case
- Coca-Cola Lies, but the Indian Government Admits Colas Do Have Pesticides
- Make TIAA-CREF Ethical Press Release
- Major reports from the campaign that are useful in organizing
- Do you need a customized Campaign leaflet?
- Campaign's 'Student Activism' Section
- Take Actions Against Coke!
- Please send photos, reports of events, etc. for the Campaign website
Coke's contracts with University of Waterloo, University of Guelph and University of Windsor expire in August. McMaster University's contract expires at the close of this year. On some of the largest Canadian campuses, Coke is demanding two additional years on their exclusivity contracts without compensating the universities because sales quotas were not met. That should raise a question in the minds of administrators: If Coke is so popular, why aren't campuses meeting those quotas? We will be reporting on these and many other campaigns on Canadian campuses.
Western News, "Challenge injustice? Let's start with Coke," By Steve Duncan, March 22, 2007
The Hamilton Spectator, "The Coke Deal: Students at several Ontario universities are questioning whether Coca-Cola should be selling its beverages on campus. The issues are choice and accusations of human rights violations," By Barbara Aggerholm, Mar. 15,2007
"Several U.S. colleges have ended contracts with Coca-Cola, although that has not happened in Canada. Watson [Hayley Watson, a third-year McMaster student who is president of McMaster Campus Choice] said the list of Canadian campus groups is growing and includes the University of Ottawa, Ryerson University in Toronto and Kings University College at the University of Western Ontario, London."
"The Student Government Association [Florida International University] has decided to support a student campaign asking that the University think twice before renewing its contract with Coca-Cola this April... "The Coca-Cola Company currently has a 10-year exclusivity contract with FIU under the terms that the contract will open for revision and bidding after its fifth year, which will occur at the end of this semester."
The Beacon (Florida International University), "Students question Coke's ethics," By Christopher Newland and Maria Chercoles, March 1, 2007
Rosanna Spicer, a lead student organizer in efforts to kick Killer Coke out of Fresno City College and four other smaller colleges (Reedley College, Clovis Center, Madera Center & Oakhurst Center) reported that the board of trustees overseeing all the colleges enrolling more than 26,000 students voted 5 to 2 on March 6 in favor of banning Coke's exclusive contract that covers all the campuses. About forty to sixty students and faculty showed up at the trustees meeting. Coke had sent as many as six representatives into earlier meetings in efforts to prevent such a vote.
A couple of weeks earlier, in response to efforts by Stop Killer Coke campaigners, a special committee voted unanimously in support of entering into contracts with other vendors to end Coke's monopoly. Many other vendors are appreciative of the opportunity to provide beverages to the colleges.
Several newspapers and radio stations covered the campaigner's efforts to kick coke off their campuses because of Coke's human rights and environmental abuses. Carlos Fierro wrote in the The Undercurrent that:"about 60 students showed up for the Board hearing. The march started at the free speech area and progressed to the [colleges'] district offices at Blackstone & Weldon. Two Fresno City Police Officers were on hand, the board drinking Dasani water with a long list of business for the board to take up. Everyone bunkered down in the hot cramped room, signs in hand that read such things as 'Stop Killer Coke,' and 'Killer Coke Off Our Campus'."
(Click here to see rest of article.)
This is a tremendous victory for the worldwide Campaign to Stop Killer Coke and for the students and faculty members who have vowed to continue their efforts until the marketing of Coke beverages is completely banned from all the campuses.
On Thursday, March 1, students joined forces with local labor activists to call for the severance of SUNY Albany's contract with The Coca-Cola Company by March 27, 2007. At a press conference, students, Stop Killer Coke Campaign Director Ray Rogers, representatives from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), GSEU/CWA Local 1104 and the Labor Coalition for Latin American Advancement (LACLA) made statements condemning Coke's actions in a number of countries including Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, India and Sudan. Amanda Hickey, member of Students for Workers' Rights commented that, "It is hypocritical for our University to be espousing ideals of liberty, equality and social justice while doing business with corporations that are guilty of unfair and unethical labor practices." Later that evening students organized a forum with guest speaker, Ray Rogers. More than 50 members of the campus community attended.
On Wednesday, March 7, students handed out hundreds of flyers and stickers in the University Campus Center. On Wednesday, March 14, students sent over 70 emails to undergraduate student government representatives, administrators and the provost calling on SUNY Albany to sever their contract with Coke. They also drew chalk outlines of bodies around campus with facts about Killer Coke. Students plan to bring a resolution on March 26 to the Albany chapter of United University Professions (UUP), the union representing SUNY faculty and professional staff.
Killer Coke Campaign student organizer Jackie Hayes speaks at March 1 forum.
Metroland, The Alternative Newsweekly of New York's Capital Region, "The Cola Wars," By David Canfield, March 2007
The Social Justice Alliance at SUNY Stony Brook is intensifying its Campaign against Killer Coke. Dan Woulfin sent us photos he took at actions on campus. The February 28th action was called Ballooning Against Killer Coke. Organizers used the balloons to attract attention and then had people sign petition cards. They collected over 150 signatures. On March 7th, Campaign Director Ray Rogers spoke on campus and many students signed petitions and volunteered to help the campaign. Administration representatives were present and listening attentively. The following day, students organized two banner drops at Stony Brook — one from the Stony Brook Union and the other inside Javits Lecture Center — and collected more signatures on petition cards.
These activities followed a die-in on the January 25th Day of Action.
There had also been a significant amount of media attention this past year which you can find at http://www.sbusja.org/news.php. The GSEU Stony Brook Killer Coke resolution can be found at http://www.gseurankandfile.org/?q=node/15.
Stony Brook Independent, "Coke Campaigners Focusing on Next Contract," By By George Agathos, February 20, 2007
Stony Brook Independent, "GSO Pushes for Ethical Contracts, Against Smoking Ban," By George Agathos, March 15, 2007
Anita Halasc of the Social Justice Alliance
Ray Rogers of Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
We reported on this victory in a March 3 Killer Coke Alert. Since that date, we have received additional information regarding the struggle and the victory at Ireland's Trinity College.
"Trinity Students have voted in a landslide victory for the boycott of Coca-Cola products due to the murder of Coke workers and trade unionists in Colombia. Since 2004, the Trinity Student Union-controlled shops have ceased to sell all Coca-Cola products. Over 2,000 students voted in support of the boycott & the largest number of Trinity students ever to vote in a referendum to support the boycott.
"During our campaign we have created a bunch of resources including logos, flyers, a one page summary of the War on Want report, and an online petition system." Students are making good use of hundreds of stickers and posters from the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke.
University of Kent, UK, "Enjoy a Coke-Free Campus" Resolution at University of Kent Canterbury, UK
See Petition — DO NOT SIGN!
The University of Kent resolution has signatures of students and staff. It states: "We the undersigned, are students and members of staff at the University of Kent Canterbury. We believe that Coca-Cola is an unethical company, and would like the sale of its products on campus to cease."
"Students at Manchester University have banned Coca-Cola in protest at the American company's alleged abuses of human rights and the environment.
A motion banning the company's fizzy drinks from the student union's shops and bars because of its behaviour in Colombia, Turkey and India won overwhelming support at a meeting this week. The decision, approved by 400 votes to about 20, means the 36,000 undergraduate and postgraduates at one of Britain's biggest universities will now drink Virgin or another cola rather than the world's number one soft drink." [In the UK, the student unions own and run shops and bars on campuses.]
Read the University of Manchester Students' Union Resolution
The Independent, "Manchester students ban Coke in human rights protest," By Martin Hickman, March 10, 2007
gair rhydd online (Cardiff Student Weekly), "Students say no to Coca-Cola at Manchester University Students' Union," By Natalie Parkinson, March 10, 2007
The Korea Times, "Manchester Students Ban Coke in Protest at Rights Abuse, March 12, 2007
Student organizers from several campuses listened to presentations and participated in discussions with Amit Srivastava of the India Resouce Center and Ray Rogers of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke. USAS members In the U.S. and Canada continue to wage struggles in support of workers on many fronts. We applaud their tremendous energy and commitment of USAS coordinators and activists.
Participants in the Northeast USAS conference on March 3 at Cornell University, New York.
What do American Airlines and The Coca-Cola Company have in common? Answer: Greedy and dishonest executives who lack integrity and accountability, a history of draconian labor relations, koozies and flip-top beverage openers!
For decades, corporate executives and board members at The Coca-Cola Company and American Airlines have operated in their own cultures of unbridled greed. Massive wage, benefit and work rule concessions are demanded and thousands of workers are laid off while these companies' executives and allied board members reward themselves with lavish compensation including hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses and stock options.
For example, Coca-Cola's CEO Neville Isdell's compensation for 2006, as reported by the Atlanta Business Chronicle was $32.3 million. Coca-Cola CEO Douglas Daft's compensation in 2001, the year Coca-Cola and its bottlers in Colombia were hit with a human rights abuse lawsuit charging systematic intimidation, kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders was $105 million. Isdell's (like Daft's) ill-gotten financial rewards come in light of Coca-Cola's widespread labor, human rights and environmental abuses worldwide.
Compounding the horrible injustices resulting from Coke's well-documented anti-social behavior in countries like Colombia, India and Mexico, is how the company exploits and inflicts great harm on children and susceptible populations through aggressive marketing of nutritionally worthless and damaging caffeine, sugar, chemically laden soft drinks that fuel the obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis epidemics. And Coke continues to operate in the Sudan mocking U.S. sanctions and ignoring genocide in Darfur.
In a March 13 press release Jack Cipriani, Director of the Teamsters Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference, stated: "Here in the United States CCE, Coca-Cola's largest bottler, plans to eliminate and restructure thousands of middle-class jobs in the U.S. under a new business model. Coke and CCE are engaged in a concerted campaign to destroy job security, pension benefits and health care coverage for the workers and their families."
Some years ago, US District Court Judge Joe Kendall commented, "If you look up the term 'bad labor relations' in the dictionary, you'd see an American Airlines logo beside it."
Things haven't gotten better with Coke or American Airlines. The unions at American Airlines, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) representing ground crews, are all up in arms over the announcement that executives at American Airlines will receive bonuses expected to pay out more than $200 million. What do thousands of stressed out union members who sacrificed so much in giving up a reported $1.6 billion in annual pay, benefits and other concessions to keep American out of bankruptcy get? It seems that flight attendants got the most.
Thousands of APFA members got a JetNet bulletin from the airline and a letter from American's Flight Service VP Laurie Curtis on January 31, 2007. They read in part:
"Coca-Cola thanks YOU! One of our partners, Coca-Cola recognizes that you are our best frontline contact with our customers?
"When you consider what customers remember and promote about airlines, the customer experience is what brings them back?
"Not only do our customers appreciate what you do, so do our suppliers. One of our partners, Coca-Cola, recognizes, as do I, that you are our best frontline contact with our customers. The marketing exposure and consumer visibility that you provide by using the Coke product in flight further strengthens the AA/Coca-Cola relationship, one that is mutually beneficial to both companies. As a small token of their appreciation for what you do every day, they are providing koozies and flip top beverage openers [both with Coke logos on them] to every flight attendant. It is a way for them to say thanks for your part in advertising their product. Look for the Coca-Cola signs at your base, over the next few days and please pick up one of the thank you gifts the next time you fly.
"Your continued efforts in merchandising our partners' products like Coca-Cola, as well as ensuring that our customers have the best onboard experience possible are appreciated by everyone?
"For our part in this corporate goal, we have invested a lot through our Invest to Impress initiative with food service and cabin enhancements as well as onboard amenity offering to help meet the goal of providing a positive customer experience. You play a big part in the success of all this. Your delivery of the products, whether Coke or Food for Sale products, is what will ultimately leave the lasting impression on our customers?"
Perhaps the best thing flight attendants and the APFA could do is collect thousands of the koozies and flip-top beverage openers and with great fanfare, hold a press conference and photo opportunities and send them back to Coca-cola's CEO Neville Isdell with a simple note:
Dear Mr. Isdell:
No thank you & We are returning your koozies and flip top beverage openers in solidarity with workers and communities in Colombia, India, Mexico and Darfur, We will not be walking advertisements for Coke in light of its abusive policies. We also cannot get excited about promoting any "partner" of American Airlines until American's management stops its history of exploiting and abusing its own employees.
The APFA and its 22,000 members
who believe all workers deserve respect and justice.
The Allied Pilots Assn. (APA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) can join in the protest by calling on their members to empty their homes of Coca-Cola beverages and bring them to the union to send the bottles and cans to Coke with a message that our union halls and members' homes have become Coke-free zones. This would be an excellent show of worldwide union and worker-to-worker solidarity. It would generate a lot of media coverage and discussion of labor issues at the airline among members, their families and the public and would cause a huge heardache for two of America's companies with the worst labor relations on record.
Press Release, "Unions Worldwide Condemn Coke for Cuts in Jobs, Retirement, Health Care: International Union of Food Workers Passes Unanimous Resolution, March 21, 2007
Read Press Release
"At its 25 Congress in Geneva, Switzerland?the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) passed a unanimous resolution calling on Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) to stop cutbacks in health care and retirement benefits for its workers, and to cease its current efforts in the United States to replace experienced union workers with new, nonunion employees.
" 'Workers made Coke the world's best-selling soft drink. Instead of sharing the rewards, Coke and CCE are destroying job security, pension benefits and health care coverage for the workers and their families. Meanwhile, the former CEO of CCE was awarded $10 million in cash, stock and other perks in his lavish severance package. It's just not right,' [said Jack Cipriani, Director of the Teamsters Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference.]"
Press Release, "Teamsters Urge NCAA to Drop Coke Sponsorship: Union Cites Labor, Human Rights, and Environmental Abuses," International Brotherhood of Teamsters, March 16, 2007
"Teamsters rallied today at NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament games in Chicago; Spokane, Washington and Columbus, Ohio to urge the NCAA to drop key sponsor Coca-Cola. The union cited concerns about Coca-Cola's destruction of natural resources in developing countries, its worker and human rights abuses in the U.S. and abroad, and the elimination of good-paying U.S. jobs at Coke bottler and distributor Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE)."
I would like to apologize to campaigners for allowing our Killer Coke website to remain untouched for the past two weeks. I was traveling in Morocco finding The Coca-Cola Co. omnipresent and meeting people who might carry our campaign into that country.
I met students, workers and a couple of progressives who serve on committees to reform the more backward structures of that society. They were very interested in our campaign.
Below are a couple of photos of waiters in a seafood restaurant in Essouaira (or as I called it, "Coke City"), a beach resort attracting many tourists. The entire town is filled with awnings advertising Coca-Cola and Ciel, the water produced by Coke in Morocco. When I showed our flyer to this worker, he stood on the side and slowly read it translating it into French or Arabic. He also asked me to give our flyer to two other co-workers which I did.
In traveling in Morocco, the first thing you often see as you approach a small town is a large red sign on the side of a building which turns out to be a Coke ad. The red of the ad stands out in contrast to the greens, browns and whites of its surroundings. Inside the town are often awnings with Coke's ads in English and in Arabic. In at least three of the towns we visited were red plastic tables and chairs supplied by Coke with Coke's logo very visible [similar to the Coke's use of its logo and promotional signs in the American Airlines section above as well as on campuses where they have exclusive contracts].
I have heard that this is common throughout the world, especially in poor countries that can least afford to purchase Coke's products.
Now that I am back, we will continue to update the site with lots of information that has been coming to our office from around the world.
Subvertisements: Using Ads and Logos for Protest
(Includes KillerCoke Images)
Exhibition and Opening Reception in Northridge California:
March 19 & April 21, 2007
Northridge Art Galleries, California State University
18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA; 91330 - 8299
www.csun.edu/artgalleries — (818) 677-2156
Your Sneakers, your iPod or Your Life. Branding has never been hotter. Adults and children alike are targeted by ads and pressured by peers to buy the right clothes, the right toys and the right cars, and often pay extra for the privilege of being a walking advertisement. Many items have become worth killing for just for the logo.
Throughout the world, political artists are taking advantage of highly marketed advertising campaigns to bring diverse social causes to the forefront. An iPod ad becomes an image of torture in Abu Ghraib prison. Insecticide Raid becomes anti-immigrant spray Fraid. Tony the Tiger becomes Frankentony. Whether they are protesting the Viet Nam or Iraq wars, drawing our attention to sweatshop labor, or opposing the use of pesticides and genetically modified foods, these posters provide an alternative view of reality.
Center for the Study of Political Graphics — http://www.politicalgraphics.org/home.html
Support the Struggle against Coke's business partner McDonald's
by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
& Join them in Chicago on April 13 & 14.
In 2005, CIW, an organization of farmworkers based in Florida, reached an historic agreement with Taco Bell to address the ever-deepening poverty and decades of degradation faced by farmworkers; this agreement involved a raise in pay of a penny per pound of tomatoes . Over the past two years, however, fast-food giant McDonald's has refused to work with the CIW to address the human rights crisis in its tomato supply chain.
Coca-Cola is a the major provider of drinks to McDonald's. Since 1955 McDonald's has almost exclusively sold Coca-Cola drinks. It has been estimated that business with McDonald's provides 10% of Coke's North American profit.
Call Coca-Cola at 1-800-GET-COKE and express concern that their business partner is complicit in the exploitation of farmworkers.
And please join in support of this effort for justice. Mark your calendars today and start organizing to bring members of your community to McDonald's backyard this April to join in a:
- Major rally outside McDonald's global headquarters in Oak Brook, IL, Friday, April 13, 2007.
- Carnival and Parade for Fair Food, Real Rights, and Dignity - Saturday, April 14, 2007 in downtown Chicago.
Brand Republic just published in an article "Coca-Cola's ethics put to the test in European-wide study" by Alex Donohue ( March 23, 2007). The article noted that:
"Coca-Cola's performance as an ethically conscious global brand has come under scrutiny in a 15 nation, European-wide study into the soft drinks giant's involvement in social causes and environmental responsibility.
"Over two-thirds of respondents questioned whether the company makes a positive contribution to society.
"The study, which was commissioned by Vlerick Leuven Ghent Management School in Belgium, looked at the Socially Responsible Trading performance of Coca-Cola across 15 major European markets and eight separate consumer groups.
"According to the report, more than 40% of respondents felt Coca-Cola was not making a positive contribution to society, with over-three quarters of those polled stating they were prepared to pay more for ethically produced goods.
"The survey polled consumers across Eastern and Western Europe, including ones in Belgium, France, Germany, the UK, Denmark, Italy, Spain Poland, Romania and Hungary."
This is a notice from the website of United Students Against Sweatshops:
On March 27, students at high schools and colleges throughout the US and Canada will be hosting protest to demand that their schools sever ties with Coca-Cola. Students are outraged that their schools are continuing to do business with a company that has been connected to the murder of union leaders in Colombia, the environmental devastation of communities in India, and severe anti-union busting in Turkey, Indonesia, Guatemala and elsewhere. If you are interested in joining students on dozens of schools throughout the US and Canada that will be participating then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The campaign against Coca-Cola has been going on for years now, and Coca-Cola has still not taken any real steps to address the human rights abuses in their supply chain, which include:
- The execution of union members in Colombia.
- The environmental devastation of communities in India.
- Beating and firing workers in Turkey as a means of union busting.
- Firing of workers in Indonesia simply for passing out pro-union literature.
- The threatening of workers in Guatemala for talking about forming a union.
Coke cites a supposed ILO investigation as evidence that they have made positive changes in their human rights policies. However, not only has this investigation not even began yet (it was suppose to be done almost a year ago), but, throughout this entire process, Coke's practices have not changed at all. As a matter of fact, union leaders in Colombia have recently received another series of death threats, environmental devastation continue in India, and union-busting is still a standard practice wherever Coke is bottled.
Given all of this, students throughout the US and Canada will be mobilizing for large actions against Coca-Cola during the student labor week of action, and plan to kick off this week with an international day of action on March 27. If your school would like to join with the growing numbers of schools that are tired of putting up with Coke's blatant disregard for the lives of its workers then you can organize a protest on the day of action, begin a campaign on your campus to kick killer coke off, or check out our website to find out more information. If you are interested in any of these things then please send an email to email@example.com.
Our schools have been waiting for this ILO investigation for too long, and on March 27 we are going to let them know that we demand that contracts with Coke to be cut now! There are active campaigns on more than 45 schools throughout the US and Canada and it is time to use our power to force Coke to acknowledge their crimes.
"Coca-Cola is getting into some very clever, if not misguided marketing tactics to somehow convince John Q. American Public that there's a place in the diet for both empty-calorie, sugary soft drinks and/or chemical-laden 'diet drinks.' "
"Not only that, but Coke is 'on a mission' to tack on the phrase 'health and wellness' onto Diet Coke and other 'no-calorie' drinks. You can learn about these marketing ploys, thanks to Duane D. Stanford of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution?
" Stanford reports?that [Coca-Cola CEO E. Neville] Isdell announced plans to broaden the debate over the obesity epidemic so Coke can 'get the target off our backs.'
"Reportedly, one way Coke plans to 'get the target off our backs' is to use different terminology for diet drinks. Indeed, rather than rightly referring to them as 'carbonated soft drinks,' Coke wants us to name them 'sparkling beverages.' Hmm. Sounds a bit deceptive to me."
Commonvoice.com, "Coca-Cola Tries to "Get the Target Off Our Backs" by Persuading the Public That Diet Coke and Other "No-Calorie" Drinks Are Healthy and More Clever Marketing Tactics," By Connie Bennett, March 1, 2007
The Campaign is seeking stock proxies from concerned stockholders. Stockholders are receiving their notice of the annual meeting and proxy card from The Coca-Cola Co. If you are not able to attend the annual meeting and would like to help the Campaign, we would like your proxy assigned to us so that others can attend. You can contact us at (718) 852-2808 or info@KillerCoke.org and we will explain how to transfer your proxy. If proxyholders plan to attend the shareholders' meeting and would like to join protest activities, please contact us. This year's annual meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, April 18 beginning at 10:30 am at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware.
"Banana company Chiquita Brands International said Wednesday it has agreed to a $25 million fine after admitting it paid terrorists?
"The settlement resolves a lengthy Justice Department investigation into the company's financial dealings with right-wing paramilitaries and leftist rebels the U.S. government deems terrorist groups.
"In court documents filed Wednesday, federal prosecutors said the Cincinnati-based company and several unnamed high-ranking corporate officers paid about $1.7 million between 1997 and 2004 to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known as AUC for its Spanish initials.
"The AUC has been responsible for some of the worst massacres in Colombia's civil conflict and for a sizable percentage of the country's cocaine exports. The U.S. government designated the right-wing militia a terrorist organization in September 2001?
"The payments were approved by senior executives at Chiquita, prosecutors wrote in court documents. Prosecutors said Chiquita began paying the right-wing AUC after a meeting in 1997 and disguised the payments in company books.
"No later than in or about September 2000, defendant Chiquita's senior executives knew that the corporation was paying AUC and that the AUC was a violent paramilitary organization," prosecutors wrote in Wednesday's court filing."
Does this sound familiar?
For more information, go to Democracynow.org
As reported by InfoChange Health:
"The Government of India has finally admitted that there are pesticide residues in soft drinks sold in India. On March 14, the health ministry submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court of India stating that pesticide residues are indeed present in bottled carbonated drinks manufactured by multinational food giants such as Coca-Cola...
"The ministry also told the apex court that the N K Ganguly Committee, set up to study the issue of pesticide residues and finalise the standard for soft drinks, has said in its report that the government should set the standard?
"Following the ministry's submission of an affidavit, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, the Indian arm of Coca-Cola Inc, responded with a statement that read: "Our products are safe and the analysis of the products for pesticide residue is available on our website?
"The Ganguly Committee was set up after the CSE revealed, in 2006, that new tests had detected dangerous levels of toxins far exceeding international norms, in colas?"
Please note how Killer Coke has tried to coverup that their beverages in India contain unacceptable levels of pesticides. Look at Number 8 of our Critical Talking Points.
For Immediate Release
March 22, 2007
Amit Srivastava, India Resource Center +91 98103 46161 E:
Rajendra Ravi, National Alliance of People's Movements (Hindi) +91 98682 00316
New Delhi (March 22): Over 40 people protesting Coca-Cola's operations in India have been detained by police authorities in the capital city of New Delhi, India, today.
More than three hundred people had marched to the government of India offices of the Planning Commission to seek action from the government on water issues on World Water Day.
As of this writing, details of the police actions are still coming in and it is not clear what charges, if any, will be filed.
Protesters were demanding that the Planning Commission (chaired by the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh) take immediate action to curb the severe water shortages being experienced by communities across India as a result of Coca-Cola and Pepsico's mining of groundwater.
"We are here on World Water Day to bring attention to one of the world's worst abusers of water, the Coca-Cola company," said Nandlal Master of Lok Samiti and National Alliance of People's Movements, one of the organizers of the march and also detained. "The Coca-Cola company has destroyed the lives of thousands of people in India as a result of its thirst for water."
Carrying signs such as "Coca-Cola Pani Chor" & "Coca-Cola Water Thief", the protesters were indignant that the government of India has not taken actions to ameliorate the bleak water conditions facing thousands of Indians who live around Coca-Cola and Pepsico bottling plants.
Also detained was Medha Patkar, leader of the National Alliance of People's Movements.
Coca-Cola's operations in India have come under intense scrutiny as many communities are experiencing severe water shortages as well as contaminated groundwater and soil, directly as a result of Coca-Cola's bottling operations. The company has also been found to sell products in India with dangerously high levels of pesticides.
"The world needs to know that the Coca-Cola company has an extremely unsustainable relationship with water, its primary raw material. Drinking Coca-Cola contributes directly to the loss of lives, livelihoods and communities in India. On this World Water Day, we encourage people around the world to think before they drink Coca-Cola," said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center, an international campaigning organization.
For more information, visit www.IndiaResource.org
The following press release and leaflet comes from Make TIAA-CREF Ethical
Press Release: TIAA-CREF's New Policy Statement Talks the Good Talk on Social Responsibility: But Where's the Walk?
Contact: Neil Wollman; Ph. D. of Make TIAA-CREF Ethical 260-982-5346; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(3/21/07) Last week TIAA-CREF revised and announced its Policy Statement on Corporate Governance. On paper it looks great. But where's the action to back up its policy? The "Make TIAA-CREF Ethical" coalition keeps looking for TIAA-CREF to follow its tagline of "Financial Services for the Greater Good," which leaves an impression of social concern. Yet it continues to invest in companies with egregious records on social responsibility. Why? We have been in discussions with TIAA-CREF for years, and have presented proposals on six companies they should engage because of their egregious practices (see leaflet below). Our proposals matched well with the criteria they gave us for their engaging companies — criteria now listed in their revised document. We made strong cases based on company abuses in such areas as human/labor rights, the environment, and effects on local communities - issues noted both in their Policy Statement and by TIAA-CREF participants in the survey they often point to. They need to get out of those companies or engage them. Even reducing holdings would send a message those companies need to hear.
We have seen only delays from TIAA-CREF. Last summer we were told to submit proposals in time for October deliberations on shareholder activism. Further delays developed in their completing the revised document, which was to be the basis for further decision-making. (They engaged on Sudan concerns earlier.) We were told that decisions would be made after document revision, but now we're told to wait till summer--but with the caveat that they might decide to not add any new issues/companies then!! Why revise a document, present it to media, and then say they are not sure they will engage companies further on issues of social responsibility? This is especially so after the strong statement in their press release about their "Reformulated policies linking environmental and social issues directly to the strategic and governance responsibilities of corporate directors and executive management."
The document even lists various tactics and activities that they say are a part of their shareholder activism program-like engaging in public dialogue, engaging in collective actions with other investors, or seeking legislative relief or litigation. Yet we have seen little of that. Ask them where they are applying those and why haven't they done so for the type companies we target that deserve such responses. It reminds us of the times that the TIAA-CREF CEO said in two annual shareholder meetings that they were looking into adding low-income area community investment into their socially responsible fund. We are still waiting.
To learn more, see http://www.maketiaa-crefethical.organd the attached piece. Over the years, well over a thousand faculty have been involved in our effort. We have gained endorsements from over two dozen academic or academic-advocacy groups. We've received pledges of over 17 million dollars toward transferring money to a fund incorporating the practices we sought. These are but a few examples of our activities, which include everything from talking with them to demonstrating against them. Now we work with a dozen national advocacy groups seeking corporate and social responsibility in TIAA-CREF's investing and engagement.
And we'll be at TIAA-CREF's Mutual Fund shareholder meeting April 3, at noon --730 Third Avenue in Manhattan
Make TIAA-CREF Ethical Leaflet:
TIAA-CREF: "Practice What You Preach"
(Investor Relations Magazine)
TIAA-CREF advertises that it provides "Financial Services for the Greater Good." Its Policy Statement on Corporate Governance states that "?boards should carefully consider the strategic impact of issues relating to the environment and social responsibility." (noting issues like human rights, the environment, and the common good of the communities in which a company operates). Yet TIAA-CREF invests in companies with egregious corporate behavior on these concerns.
MAKE TIAA-CREF ETHICAL COALITION ASKS $400 BILLION TEACHER'S PENSION FUND TO
- Lobby Philip Morris/Altria to stop advertising and promoting to youth-or drop its stock in Philip Morris/Altria, which is responsible for thousands of tobacco-related deaths.
- Pressure Nike and Wal-Mart to end sweatshop abuses worldwide; urge Wal-Mart to stop its destructive impact on local economies and close its Teotihuacan, Mexico store ----or divest from those companies if changes are not made.
- Urge Chevron to either stop financially supporting the brutal dictatorship in Burma or leave the country-or divest if changes are not made.
- Pressure retailer Costco to close its illegally constructed warehouses in Mexico and end human rights abuses-or divest.
- Support proxy resolutions calling for an independent investigation of human rights abuse associated with Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia — and pressure The Coca-Cola Co. to agree to such an investigation; also, pressure Coke to end all marketing (including Coke toys, in-school marketing, and product placement) aimed at children - or divest.
- Pledge to buy no new World Bank bonds as long as bank policies contribute to economic instability around the globe-TIAA-CREF previously divested such holding.
- Invest in low-income area community development and in social venture capital for companies pioneering socially responsible products and services.
Research indicates that addressing social concerns does not hurt financial returns. Indeed, TIAA-CREF's own socially responsible fund has been one of its best performing funds over the years.
** Campaign to Stop Killer Coke/Corporate Campaign, Inc, Sprawl-Busters ? Press for Change, Social Choice for Social Change, Citizens Coalition (Frente Civico), Educating for Justice, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, United Students Against Sweatshops, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Corporate Accountability International (formerly Infact), World Bank Bonds Boycott, Canadian Committee To Combat Crimes Against Humanity (CCCCH) **
Critical Talking Points from the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
Read the Critical Talking Points on Killer Coke
LABOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS: 'The Real Thing' in Colombia, By Lesley Gill
"Inside the Real Thing: Corporate profile on Coca-Cola Corporation," Report by the Polaris Institute (Canada)
Read the report in pdf format
War on Want, Press Release and Report, "Coca-Cola under fire as World Cup comes to London, Released March 20, 2006
Read Report, "Coca-Cola: The Alternative Report" in English
Seven Points to Settlement
Read the Seven Points.
"ILRF Director Terry Collingsworth Response to Coke's Denials," July 8, 2004
"University of Michigan Falls Prey to Another Coca-Cola PR Scam," Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
April 17, 2006 Press Release/Report
WB11, New York Feature on the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
On July 11, 2005, WB11, one of New York City area's major television stations aired a special "Fact Finders Report" on the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke called "Coca-Cola Faces Human Rights Violations." Interviewed are Campaign Director Ray Rogers, Hofstra University Campaign Activist Vanessa Cudabac, New York City Council Member Hiram Monserrate, New York City Comptroller William Thompson and American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Secretary-Treasurer Terry Stapleton. This excellent feature was watched by millions on WB11 and, as we found out from supporters, watched by others around the world on satellite television.
Play Tape of Show
The Campaign's Response to Coke's Statements on the WB11 Feature
Video, "State of the Union," produced by Insight News for Channel 4 of Great Britain.
Watch State of the Union
15. Do you need a customized Campaign leaflet?
When we invited supporters to contact us to "customize a leaflet for your campus, union or group," the response was terrific! We immediately began getting emails asking us to produce customized leaflets for numerous colleges, universities, high schools and middle schools. We put them up as soon as we could. We have leaflets for Australia, Canada, Colombia (in Spanish), India, Ireland, Japan, the UK and the US.
Because the demand for flyers was so strong, it took up too much server space. We decided to leave the list online with the schools listed for which we have customized flyers. If you need a copy of your flyer, please contact us and we'll email it to you as soon as possible.
If your school, union or group is not listed and you would like a customized leaflet, please contact us at info@KillerCoke.org. Please state the name of your school and the name of the sponsoring group, if any, and a local email address, if you want us to put them into the flyer. If you want the flyer for a group, please state the name of the group and an email address. Also, whenever you email the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, please include a phone number, if possible, in case we have a need to talk with you.
16. Campaign's 'Student Activism' Section
Many students interested in launching a Campaign to Stop Killer Coke at their schools and colleges have been contacting us. We recommend that students begin by checking out the two organizing packets in our "Campus Activism" section:
- "Unthinkable! Undrinkable! A Campus Campaign Overview," a USAS Campus Guide
- Campus Activism Packet Campaign for a Coca-Cola Free Campus
- Schools Active in the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
In addition, there are numerous reports, resolutions and articles in the "Campus Activism" section that can be useful.
- Call Coca-Cola and tell them to stop their worldwide abuses at 1-800-GET-COKE.
- Sign a Petition protesting Coke's abuses: Sign the Petition
- Join the Boycott at Karmabanque's web site at: www.karmabanque.com
- Send an E-Card to Coca-Cola
Please send photos, reports of events, and if you are in a school, union or organization that has banned Coke products, please send us the resolution or a description of how the decision was made. We would like the Campaign website to be up-to-date and to share the information via our newsletter. (Whenever you email us, please include your phone number and the best times to contact you, including weekends.)