Contents of the Newsletter
The past few months have been busy and productive here on the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke. We enter 2011 optimistic and ready for the challenges that lie ahead. New allies are making us stronger then ever before and the campaign is reaching more and more communities and countries as you read this. We'd like to keep you posted on some of the most recent developments, and encourage you to share your Killer Coke campaign updates with us. Our latest news updates include:
1. Labor Union Support Growing
a. UAW Pres. Bob King Vows to Make International & Local Unions Coke-Free
Our annual trip to Fort Benning in Columbus, GA, to support shutting down the School of Americas (School of Assassins), was a tremendous success. We met hundreds of union members and students eager to bring the fight back to their unions and campuses and committed to ridding their communities of Coca-Cola.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Movement Erupts!
A highlight of our time in Georgia was linking up with Bob King, President of the United Autoworkers and other UAW members. Bob has been a fighter on behalf of workers his entire life, and his pledge to "pull Coke out of the International union... and ask our locals to do the same" reaffirms Bob's commitment to human rights around the world.
The UAW has more than 390,000 active members and more than 600,000 retired members in more than 750 local unions in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Watch this video, which includes Bob King speaking prior to our showing of "The Coca-Cola Case"
In addition, joining us was Jeffrey Wright, the former Coca-Cola Enterprises employee in Atlanta who wrote the book, "What Coca-Cola Did to Stop the Union from Coming In." The book, well-documented by Wright, was written about Coke's corrupt union-busting activities. You can read about the book at KillerCoke.org Literature/Books.
National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW, Local 2320 Passes Boycott Resolution
In June, the National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW, Local 2320, passed a resolution at their convention:
RESOLVED, that the National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320 will ban all Coke products from all its meetings and events;
RESOLVED, that the National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320, calls on its members to initiate and support campaigns in schools, labor unions and public institutions, etc. to similarly hold The Coca- Cola Company accountable by removing all Coke machines and Coke beverages and banning the sale and advertising of Coke products.
UAW Local 2320, AFL-CIO is the union representing the majority of those who work in federally-funded legal services programs across the USA. UAW Local 2320 also represents workers in other types of law offices and in various human services programs.
b. AFSCME Local 1549 Will No Longer Serve Coke
AFSCME Local 1549 represents approximately 18,000 Clerical-Administrative employees in almost every city agency in New York City.
Do Not Buy Coke Products; Coke is unfair to workers
Local 1549 Bulletin, January 2011
Local 1549 Delegates approved a resolution from the Local's Political Action Committee to eliminate serving all Coca-Cola-owned products from union events. This includes all Coke products such as Dr. Pepper and Snapple.*
Coca-Cola is fighting to undermine unionization in its U.S. facilities, is promoting union busting worldwide by outsourcing jobs out of the country and promoting undemocratic measures in other countries. The company is also responsible for polluting drinking water in areas in the United States where it runs factories and exploits children in countries with weak child labor laws.
Coke is bad for you. This is not just because it is full of "empty calories." It is downright anti-worker and antiunion.
Local 1549 will no longer provide Coke and its other products at union meetings once our supply runs out. We urge you to do the same!
* Dr. Pepper and Snapple are not produced by Coca-Cola, but under a June 2010 agreement The Coca-Cola Company paid $715 million to Dr Pepper Snapple Group in exchange for rights to distribute certain Dr Pepper Snapple Group brands, so the Campaign is asking supporters to avoid purchasing any Dr Pepper Snapple beverages. Read more about this Agreement.
c. Denver Area Labor Federation Passes Resolution to Boycott Coke
Russell Bannan, Colorado State Organizing Director for the American Federation of Teachers introduced a motion to boycott all Coca-Cola products at the Denver Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, meeting on January 27. Delegates passed the motion unanimously. The affiliated organizations of DALF represent more than 130,000 workers.
d. Surrey Teachers' Assn. Shows 'The Coca-Cola Case'
The Surrey Teachers Association in British Colombia, Canada, will be showing "The Coca-Cola Case" in February. The Association is a part of the British Columbia Teachers Federation, which passed a resolution in November 2005 that "the BCTF support workers in Colombia by asking members to join the boycott of Coca-Cola products."
e. Guatemalan Union Leaders at Coke Speak Out
A Guatemalan Coke worker, Armando Palacios, is in exile in the U.S. after an assassination attempt on him failed. Armando joined us at the Shut Down SOA activities in Columbus, Georgia, accompanied by Bob Perillo, who works with International Rights Advocates and lives in Guatemala. Armando spoke at workshops, person-to-person at our table and before more than 800 people at the showing of "The Coca-Cola Case." We are also including an interview with Coke union leader, Jose Alberto Vicente Chavez. Translating for Chavez and Palacios was Bob Perillo:
Interview with Coke Union Leader, Jose Alberto Vicente Chavez Mr. Chavez, along with other victims are plaintiffs in a lawsuit charging Coca-Cola and operations in Guatemala with murder, attempted murder and rape. (See Coke's Crimes in Guatamala)
In this moving interview, Mr. Chavez, accompanied by Bob Perillo in Guatemala, describes how his son and nephew were murdered and his teenage daughter gang raped because of his union activities:
Interview with Coke Union Leader, Armando Palacios
f. The Fight Against Outsourcing: A Tale of Two Countries
(i) Colombian Police Invade Coca-Cola Bottler in Medellin to Prevent Outsourced Workers from Joining SINALTRAINAL
[A key goal of SINALTRAINAL and the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is to stop The Coca-Cola Company’s global policy of turning employees into non-employees, known as outsourcing or subcontracting.
The vast majority of Coke workers in Colombia who wear Coke uniforms, drive Coke trucks, work in Coke plants and help make huge profits for Coke are subcontracted workers. Outsourced workers receive minimal pay, meager, if any, benefits, have no job security or future with the Company, are fired if they try to join a union and many are mired in poverty.
In April 2007, 16 Coke outsourced workers were fired for joining SINALTRAINAL, the Colombian food workers union. This was a warning to all outsourced workers in the Coca-Cola System: You have no rights! Do not join a union!—Campaign to Stop Killer Coke]
From WORKERS FIGHT, Newsletter of SINALTRAINAL, By Javier Correa, President, SINALTRAINAL
On December 18, 2010, the police entered the Coca-Cola bottler in the city of Medellin, authorized by the president of Coca-Cola. They entered with armored tanks, shields, firing weapons with chemical fumes, intimidating and pressuring the subcontracted workers who were protesting. They militarized the dispute and forced workers to desist and accept verbal commitment of the multinational that promised to resolve the conflict, but simultaneously the workers were notified of their dismissal. Since then, the police remain in the Coca-Cola bottling plant, 24 hours a day, terrorizing workers.
The police are present at all meetings of the factory, even in the restaurant area and workers take their food under pressure. This militarization of the labor dispute is an attack on international humanitarian laws is further evidence of the brutal procedure of Coca-Cola and the warmongering alliance between the military and multinational forces to suppress workers and SINALTRAINAL. Trampling on human rights, violating freedom of association and placing the lives of workers in jeopardy is done with the complicity of the authorities. [Google translation]
(ii) Coke Tunisia: Struggle for Democracy Leads to Union Victory [Against Outsourcing]
February 5, 2011, By Paul Garver
"Trade unions played a crucial coordination and organizing role in the mass revolt in Tunisia. Communities in revolt turned to the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) for coordination and organization as the social movement gathered force. The social upheaval in turn strengthened the unions in their power struggles with transnational companies like Coca-Cola.
"At Coca-Cola's Tunisian bottler SFBT, the union Federation generale de l'alimentation et du tourisme (FGAT-UGTT) seized the opportunity to negotiate an end to agency work and roll back the abusive use of precarious employment contracts. After a series of mobilizations and strikes in the 10 bottling plants, the Coke bottler had to concede the creation of 1000 new permanent positions for workers who had been employed "temporarily" for over four years, and the direct employment of another 1000 agency workers in positions covered by the union contract. These employees would also be made permanent after they had been employed for four years.
"Within Coke's global empire, from India and Pakistan through China and Colombia (to name just a few of the most egregious cases), the abusive practice of sub-contracting workers (sometimes called agency or dispatch labor) is rampant..."
g. Labor Solidarity Activism in the Campaign
To read more about labor solidarity and to download a sample resolution, go to the Labor Solidarity Activism section in our website.
h. How unions can obtain DVDs of "The Coca-Cola Case"
U.S. unions can obtain copies of the film at TheCoca-ColaCase.org. There it can be ordered online through PayPal or by sending a donation by check or money order, made out to Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, Cooper Station, PO Box 1002, New York, NY 10276-1002.
Unions outside the U.S. can obtain copies of the film through the National Film Board of Canada by contacting Jenny Thibault, c/o National Film Board of Canada, Postal Box 6100, Centre-ville Station, Montreal (Quebec), H3C 3H5, Canada; Telephone: 514-283-9189; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local 103's huge electronic billboard promoting a showing of "The Coca-Cola Case" was seen by hundreds of thousands of Boston- area commuters. IBEW local 103, the largest building trades local in New England, had earlier removed their Coca-Cola machine and banned Coca-Cola products from their facilities and functions.
I. Thank you Yukon Area Council, PSAC
We want to thank the Yukon Area Council of the Public Service Alliance of Canada for its generous financial contribution and its organizational support for the campaign. Labor unions can support the campaign by making a contribution via PayPal from our website, www.KillerCoke.org or by sending a check made payable to Campaign to Stop Killer Coke and sending it to PO Box 1002, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276-1002, USA.
2. KillerCoke Campaign Active in the South, Pennsylvania, Canada & Germany
a. Southern Human Rights Organizer's Network Conference
Hundreds of participants at the Southern Human Rights Organizer's Network Conference in Birmingham, Alabama, in December continued their support for the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke. Hundreds of Shut Down SOA/Stop Killer Coke Unthinkable! Undrinkable! posters were carried at a protest demonstration during the conference. Below is a collage of photos showing some of the demonstrators with our signs, led by the Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights.
b. Dickinson College
Campaign Director Ray Rogers was invited to speak at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on November 16, 2011 where Coke has an exclusive contract. The packed audience of more than 110 students and faculty when asked if they would like to see Coke off campus, responded with a unanimous "Yes!" All students received Killer Coke buttons, posters and leaflets to help promote the campaign on their campus and beyond.
c. Mt. Allison University
"The Coca-Cola Case" was shown at Mt. Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, on Jan. 31, 2011. Campaign Director Ray Rogers spoke to the students and answered questions via Skype.
d. McMaster University
We received this message from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, in November.
"Our campaign to end Coke's monopoly at McMaster has finally succeeded. It took two referenda in which the undergraduates rejected the exclusive contract and constant work by the campus club called Campus Choice, with its allies, to get this to happen. We are not specially happy that the company that has replaced much of the Coca Cola' machines on campus is Pepsi, but at least Pepsi has not murdered anyone to our knowledge."
We responded to this email with a congratulations and this link to Director Ray Rogers's answer to a question about Pepsi at the University of Alberta.
e. Activists in Germany Chain Themselves to Coca-Cola Truck
Aktivisten ketten sich an Coca-Cola Truck (Dez. 2010)
The Article in German: [B] Aktivisten ketten sich an Coca-Cola Truck
3. Killer Coke Campaign arrives in New Zealand
Killer Coke Campaign lands in New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand
Report of Ian Hoffmann; Organizer, Corporate Campaign, Inc./Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
December 11, 2010
Eighteen hours ahead of New York, and enjoying the warmest Spring on record, Kiwi's (Kiwi is the nickname used internationally for people from New Zealand, as well as being a relatively common self-reference.) are ready to take on Coca-Cola. Staying in Wellington's largest youth hostel, it was amazing to see the interest people from all over the world have as they delve into the Killer Coke literature I brought. Numerous "Stop Killer Coke" posters will be traveling back to places throughout New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the Americas and Europe.
Sunday, December 12th was truly special. In town for a few days, and docked in the Wellington harbor, was the famous "Sea Shepherd Steve Irwin" ship. Featured on the Animal Planet's "Whale Wars," the Sea Shepherd is a beacon of hope for whales and marine life around the world as it intercepts whaling ships and educates the public as to the concerns of endangered marine life.
On a tour of the ship, we arrived in the kitchen where I began talking to a member of the crew as I handed out literature. Doug was not only familiar with the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, but was also familiar with the "School of America's Watch." (He even asked: "Didn't the SOA change their name?" Indeed they have.) Doug was from Berkeley, CA and has been the "Steve Irwin" carpenter for the past few months. I look forward to hearing about his work with the Sea Shepherd when he returns to the States. Our message of Stopping Killer Coke now travels throughout Antarctica, the South Pacific and around the world with the Sea Shepherd's "Steve Irwin."
On December 13th, I met with representatives of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, and also with organizers of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions regarding the Killer Coke Campaign. Organizers and representatives were eager to join us on the campaign and gladly accepted our literature, posting it throughout their offices. We're looking forward to being in touch with our new allies and thrilled that New Zealand has jumped on board the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke.
4. Upcoming Events
a. St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, U.S.
St. Olaf College has a Killer Coke campaign in full force, being led by Irene Lawrence. Please join concerned students on February 15, 2011 from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Crossroads at Buntrock Commons as students decide whether to kick Coke out of St. Olaf.
For more information, contact Irene at email@example.com. St. Olaf College is located at 1520 St. Olaf Avenue, Northfield, Minnesota.
b. Michigan State University, Lansing, MI, U.S.
The film showing of "The Coca-Cola Case" sponsored by MSU Amnesty International will be held on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm.
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers will make introductory remarks and respond to questions via Skype after the film showing.
For more information, contact Adam Liter at Literada@msu.edu Location of film showing: South Kedzie Hall, Room 107, MSU campus
c. Surrey Teachers Association, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
The film showing of "The Coca-Cola Case" sponsored by the Surrey Teachers' Association will be held on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 4 pm.
For more information, contact Tammy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Location of film showing: Afgan Chopan Restaurant, 12888 80th Avenue, Surrey. Cost for Surrey Teachers is $5.00/non-members pay for their meal. The film showing is free.
d. Annual Shareholders Meeting of The Coca-Cola Co.
To be held in April 2011; date and place to be determined
WE NEED YOUR PROXIES for Coke's Annual Meeting
We need help to have a presence at Coca-Cola's annual shareholders' meeting. The annual meeting is the only place we can challenge Coke's chief policymakers -- the top executives and members of the company'sboard of directors — face-to-face. By having a visible presence at the meeting, no stockholder, creditor, other potential investors or stock analysts can say they were not forewarned about the increasing risk in investing heavily in Coke since
Coke is facing hundreds of millions of dollars or more in lost sales, fines, settlements and brand name value.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is working with individuals, other organizations and stockholders to hold Coke accountable around serious labor, human rights, health and environmental abuses. If you or your organization would like to participate in activities around the annual meeting, contact us at (718) 852- 2808 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
In early March, stockholders should be 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will explain how to transfer your proxy. If proxyholders plan to attend the shareholders' meeting and would like to join us in the activities, please contact us.
Please consider making a donation to the Campaign by check or via PayPal from our website to help defray the expense of the Campaign's presence at the annual meeting.
5. Thank You, Phil Willkie
Phil Willkie, is a veteran labor organizer and grandson of Wendell Willkie, GOP candidate for president who ran in 1940. Phil, a supporter of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, contributed the full-page ad that is on the back cover of the February 2011 edition of The Progressive.
This is the ad that appears on the back cover of The Progressive
6. Order Stop Killer Coke Campaign Buttons/Pins/Badges
The Campaign has produced five different buttons/pins/badges with our original graphics. We are asking supporters to contribute according to the following price list. These buttons will make our Campaign visible on campuses, in unions and in the community.
The buttons are all laminated and have pins with clasps. There are five different buttons, which are shown below. Sizes are in the Order Form in our "Campaign Store". Donations for all buttons are $2.50 each plus shipping & handling. These buttons are all union-made. We offer a pack of 10 buttons for $22.00 plus shipping & handling, a pack of 20 buttons for
$40.00 plus shipping & handling and a pack of 100 buttons for $150.00 plus shipping & handling. If ordering packs, you can choose buttons you want in the packs. You can pay through PayPal in our "Campaign Store" or by check. For more info on our buttons, go to the KillerCoke.org Store.