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Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Update

Newsletter October 7, 2004

Contents of This Newsletter

  1. APWU presidents pass resolution against SunTrust Banks, Inc.
  2. Protest on Oct. 12 at the Colombian Consulate
  3. Seven Points to Settlement
  4. We have a new Counter on our home page
  5. Please send us contact information
  6. Toronto Campaign to Stop Killer Coke fundraiser and mobilization on Oct. 23
  7. Please send us your Campaign events, photos, resolutions, and updates

1. APWU Presidents pass resolution against SunTrust Banks, Inc.
At the American Postal Workers Union National Presidents Conference held in Indiana this past weekend, the 150 local presidents unanimously passed a resolution resolving:

"That the National American Postal Workers Union communicates to SunTrust Banks, Inc. that unless the Alien Tort Claims Act lawsuit is settled within 60 days and the safety and rights of workers in the Coca-Cola Colombian bottling plants are protected, the APWU will urge all unions and state and local American Postal Workers Unions and their members to support a divestment and boycott campaign of SunTrust Banks, Inc."

This resolved was added to Iowa Resolution 221 passed at the national convention Aug. 24-27, which resolved:

"Resolved, That the National American Postal Workers Union requests that the United States Postal Service remove all Coca-Cola products from all postal facilities, until this issue is resolved, and be it further

"Resolved, That the National American Postal Workers Union requests that all unions, State and Local American Postal Workers Union, stop purchasing all Coca-Cola products until this issue is resolved."

The resolution passed after the conference was addressed by Campaign Director Ray Rogers and SINALTRAINAL member-in-exile Luis Adolfo Cardona. Ray was introduced by Pat McCann, president of the St. Paul, Minnesota area local. Sylvia Reyna, president of the McAllen, Texas local, escorted and translated for Luis during his convention stay. The hospitality and support shown by all at the conference, hosted by Joe Clegg, president of the Indiana Postal Workers Union, and chaired by Jim Alexander, General President of the Southern Oregon Area Local of the APWU, was heartwarming. Local presidents from across the country spoke strongly for the resolution, including Bruce Clark, President of Iowa Postal Workers Union Local 2339, the sponsor of the Coke resolution at the national convention.

The Presidents went back home from the conference with Campaign materials vowing to carry the Campaign to their local areas.

The resolution against SunTrust follows a similar one that the Communications Workers of America passed at their summer international convention.

2. Protest on Oct. 12 with the PSC-CUNY — Demand an end to the murder of teachers in Colombia:

STOP THE KILLING OF TEACHERS IN COLOMBIA!

PSC-CUNY, AFT Local 2334, the CUNY faculty and staff union, calls on all teachers, students, and supporters of human rights to join us in support of the 300,000 teachers of Colombia. In the face of assassinations of their union leaders, they are joining a one-day national general strike on October 12 to demand:

  • The right to live: one teacher is killed every two weeks in Colombia by right-wing paramilitaries, often linked to elements in the army
  • The right to health care, pension and retirement benefits, and an end to the freeze on salaries and promotions

The government of President Uribe should come to the bargaining table now

STRIKE SUPPORT RALLY AT COLOMBIAN CONSULATE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 4-6PM, AT 10 E. 46th STREET & MADISON

Read the leaflet.

The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke will join the demonstration. Join us!

3. Seven Points to Settlement. The following seven points are what The Coca-Cola Co. must agree to so that the lawsuit can be settled

Seven Points to Settlement

Point One: Acknowledge Underlying Facts. The events alleged in the four Complaints filed in federal district court in Miami, Florida are objectively verifiable. For example, Mr. Isidro Gil was murdered in the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Carepa. The Plaintiffs are extremely distraught that Coca-Cola's public statements have labeled these allegations as "false" since this constitutes an effort to alter the historical record.

Point Two: Public Statements Denouncing Anti-Union Violence. Coca-Cola and Panamco/FEMSA should issue strong, public statements throughout the press in Colombia and in the world denouncing violence, and particularly anti-union violence, by all armed actors in Colombia. The companies should state that such violence, regardless of who commits it, is seen by corporations such as themselves as being bad for business and investment. Specifically, they should publicly state that if the paramilitaries see themselves as protecting the interests of domestic and foreign investment, they are wrong; that their violent conduct, especially against trade unionists, is bad for business and investment and must cease. Coca-Cola and Panamco/FEMSA must also make public statements in the press indicating their belief that, contrary to the statements made by local Colombian management, Sinaltrainal is not connected with any armed groups in Colombia, and acknowledge that the violent acts described in the four federal complaints was unlawful.

Point Three: Human Rights Committee. Coca-Cola and Panamco/FEMSA must agree to support the creation of an independent committee to which workers can submit complaints about anti-union violence and intimidation at or around any Coca-Cola bottling plant. The Committee will work with such employees and the union to address such concerns in a productive way.

Point Four: Investigation and Training: Coca-Cola and Panamco/FEMSA must encourage the proper authorities in Colombia to investigate links between local Colombian management and the armed groups, particularly the paramilitaries. Further, the companies must conduct their own internal investigations and remove management with such links. This investigation must be subject to independent review. Coca-Cola and Panamco/FEMSA should also conduct training with all management personnel and employees in which they strongly stress that any collusion with armed actors or any encouragement of anti-union violence by these actors, whether material or moral, will not be tolerated and will result in immediate discharge.

Point Five: Address Anti-Union Impact of Violence. As a consequence of the anti-union violence that is the subject of the four legal cases, SINALTRAINAL has suffered significant losses of members and other institutional damage. In order to address this distinct aspect of the violence, Coca-Cola must agree to require its bottlers to negotiate with SINALTRAINAL and to agree to a process to repair the damage suffered by SINALTRAINAL. This shall include prohibiting any of the Coca-Cola bottlers from referring to the union in a derogatory way, such as calling it a "guerilla union," reinstating union members who fled following specific death threats from paramilitaries or who were discharged unlawfully for their union activity, and allowing SINALTRAINAL to have access to workers prior to elections in any of the subject bottling plants where SINALTRAINAL was decertified following the acts of violence due to lost membership from terror and intimidation.

Point Six: Cessation of Criminal Charges. Coca-Cola and Panamco/FEMSA must stop pressing criminal legal action against the Plaintiffs as they have done since shortly after, and in retaliation for, the Plaintiffs' commencement of the civil human rights lawsuit in Miami.

Point Seven: Compensation for Victims

4. We have a new counter on our home page
The company with which we had an account discontinued providing counters. We now have another to keep track of the number of hits on our website. As of July 13, 2004, we had had 90,122 hits on our site. Rather than trying to estimate what the current number might be, we decided to begin again from zero as of October 4, 2004.

5. Please send us your Name, City, State:
We are often contacted by Campaign supporters asking for contacts in their city, town or region. Unfortunately, we do not always have that information. We asked for that information in last week's newsletter and did get quite a few responses. We would appreciate it if you would send us an e-mail (info@KillerCoke.org) giving us your name, e-mail address, city or town, state or province, etc., and country. This will facilitate the coordination of campaign activities throughout the world.

6. Canadian Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Week of Action

From Monday, October 18 to Saturday, October 23, Campaign Director Ray Rogers will be doing press interviews and speaking at a number of student- and -union- sponsored events to build support for the Campaign in Canada. For more information, contact Larry Wells of the Oakville and District Labour Council at larrywells@cogeco.ca.

Tentative Schedule of Events

Monday, October 18

  • 9:30am - Student School (Bloor/Runnymede area) 125 Evelyn Crescent, Room# 301. Toronto.
  • 12:30pm - Oakwood Collegiate Institute, St. Clair West and Oakwood Ave. Toronto.
  • 7:00pm - CASA (Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance) & OPIRG - U of T, Toronto.

Tuesday, October 19

  • 9:00am - Stephen Leacock High School. 2450 Birchmount Road. Toronto.
  • 4:30pm - Rally @ Royal Bank, 200 Bay St. Toronto. Coke board member J. Pedro Reinhard, also sits on the board of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Wednesday, October 20

  • 2:00pm to 4:00pm - University of Western Ontario, London
  • 7:00pm - Guelph University

Thursday, October 21

  • 2:30pm to 4:30pm - York University, Founders Senior Common Room, 305 Founders College. Toronto.
  • 7:30pm - McMaster University, Room 308/309 MUSC

Saturday, October 23

Fundraiser and Mobilization @ 7 pm; Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto, Canada; Speakers: Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers; Lawsuit Co-counsel Dan Kovalik, and SINALTRAINAL member Over Rico; $10 at the door.

Read the flyer for Saturday's event. (This is a large pdf. file, so if you don't have a fast connection, you might not want to download it.)

7. Send us your Campaign events, photos, resolutions, and updates. We would like to share these through our newsletter and post them to our website. Please send all information to info@KillerCoke.org.


Campaign to Stop KILLER COKE

We are seeking your help to stop a gruesome cycle of murders, kidnappings, and torture of union leaders and organizers involved in daily life-and-death struggles at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia, South America.

"If we lose the fight against Coca-Cola, we will first lose our union, next our jobs and then our lives." SINALTRAINAL VIce President Juan Carlos Galvis


Please donate to the Campaign.


Learn the truth about The Coca-Cola Co.

"We believe the evidence shows that Coca-Cola and its corporate network are rife with immorality, corruption and complicity in murder."
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke/Corporate Campaign, Inc. Director Ray Rogers

Visit www.KillerCoke.org