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Thousands Petition Teachers Union: End Partnership with Coca-Cola

Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Newsletter May 10, 2015

Contents

  1. Sign the RootsAction petition to AFT, "Teaching Does NOT Go Better with Coke"
  2. Coke CEO Muhtar Kent Refuses to Answer Shareholder Question on Ending Child Labor
  3. PRWeb Press Release & Corporate Crime Reporter Story Denouncing Partnership
  4. Coke CEO Kent Tries to Suppress Exposé of Fatalities & Injuries in the Coke System

1. Sign the RootsAction petition to AFT, "Teaching Does NOT Go Better with Coke"

The nonprofit public policy advocacy group, Action for a Progressive Future/RootsAction initiated a petition protesting American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten's recent partnering with The Coca-Cola Company. The petition calls on the AFT to "Stop undermining teachers' moral authority and children's health. End your partnership with Coca-Cola."

RootsAction issued a press release, "Thousands Demand Teachers Union End Partnership with Coca-Cola" on April 24, 2015 emphasizing "Teaching Does Not Go Better with Coke."

The petition already has some 15,000 signatures. The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke urges everyone concerned with the well-being of all children and protecting human rights to sign the petition.

Sign the petition, "Teaching Does NOT Go Better with Coke"

Sampling of Comments by petitioners from across the country:

Too disgusted to make a civil comment. (DE)

This is appalling! (FL)

I'm a retired teacher. I am ashamed of this partnership. (NJ)

As a teacher, I find the idea of partnering with Coca-Cola to be abhorrent. (ON)

End your partnership with Coca-Cola now. (NY)

AFT President Randi Weingarten promoting unhealthy Coca-Cola products damaging to children’s health and well-being.

Just say no to Killer Coke! Stand with students and teachers not with Killer Coke. (CA)

I am an AFT member, and this is disturbing. (WI)

Obesity and diabetes, and you pair up with those largely responsible? (ME)

A real betrayal by AFT (IN)

As a member of the American Federation of Teachers (Local 2190), I am angry that my union is not taking a stronger stand on this issue. (NY)

I've been an AFT member for thirty years and am appalled that my union would strike a bargain that advertises Coca-Cola. Please stop it, now! (CA)

Years ago I was a member of the executive board of the United Federation of Teachers, UFT Local 2. From my experience, I am not surprised that the union's leadership would take a position in opposition to the well-bring of children, teachers and parents. (NY)

Backing out of a boycott does not show that we truly believe that child labor is unacceptable, and does show a complete lack of moral fortitude. (C0)

My mother was a member of the AFT for nearly 40 years. I'm sure she's spinning in her grave with outrage and disbelief that her union leaders would turn a blind eye to Coca-Cola's complicity in the murder of union organizers in South America, and make a deal with Coke before there was a clear end to child labor on sugar plantations world wide. Shame on Randi and Shame on Coke. (NY)

Child harvesting sugar cane.

...no to coke and it's unhealthy relationship with kids and education... you will pay for partnering with them in the long run. Sever the tie now. (ME)

What the hell is wrong with you people? Isn't there enough over weight children already! Now this, a partnership with the worse offenders of the over weight problem in America. (OK)

The photo of Pres. Randi Weingarten on AFT's website promoting Coca-Cola sodas is despicable and shows poor leadership, especially for the head of a union representing teachers & health professionals (NY)

In addition to using child labor, Coca Cola has been a big funder to stop the labeling of GMO foods in California. It also funded anti-labeling of GMO campaigns in Washington and Oregon. Coca-Cola is a bad actor. I will not buy their products. (CA)

The AFT should be continuing the boycott of Coca-Cola, a company that is hardly an advocate for the young people that we, as educators, care about deeply. (NY)

In addition to the concern for children, The Coca-Cola Company in Colombia looks the other way as unionists get killed by the militia. Union workers in the USA should not betray our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. (FL)

I am very disappointed that our leadership would reverse the resolution that voted to boycott The Coca-Cola Company by a large body of delegates at the Convention last year. I will continue boycotting all of their products and encourage others to do so as well! (NY)

I am a recently retired public school teacher and union member...There is nothing about Coca-Cola that sends a positive message to our children. The corporation has a long history of deceit, cover-up, corruption and the killing of union leaders. Your partnership with Coca-Cola sends a very clear message that you value Coke's greedy goals over the health of children and the teachers and staff who work with them. Shame on you. (ME)

2. Coke CEO Muhtar Kent Refuses to Answer Shareholder Question on Ending Child Labor

Watch how Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent refuses to answer a simple yes or no question on dangerous child labor posed by Ray Rogers at Coca-Cola's April 29, 2015 annual meeting of shareowners.

Coca-Cola Chair/CEO Muhtar Kent.

The question: "Will Coca-Cola agree to pay its sugar processors enough money so they can pay fair wages to sugar cane harvesters and will Coca-Cola assure the rights of sugar cane harvesters to form and join labor unions? Then children can be in schools and playgrounds instead of laboring in plantation fields.

For decades, Coca-Cola has violated its codes of conduct by profiting from illegal, dangerous child labor in the harvesting of sugar cane.

Recently, Coca-Cola signed a controversial deal with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.6 million teachers and health professionals, to end the union's short-lived boycott of Coca-Cola. The boycott resulted from a resolution supported by members and delegates at the teachers' national convention.

The banning of Coca-Cola was to remain in effect until Coca-Cola showed real progress in three areas: (1) Stop exploiting child labor (2) stop complicity in violence against union leaders in Colombia and Guatemala and (3) stop turning thousands of full-time jobs into non-union poverty wage jobs through outsourcing.

The AFT Partnership Deal with Coca-Cola fails miserably to meet any of the stipulations in the resolution. To make matters worse, Ms. Weingarten has a photo of herself on the federation's website promoting a display of unhealthy Coke sodas that fuel the childhood obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes epidemics — sodas that Coca-Cola continues to aggressively market to children!

3. PRWeb Press Release & Corporate Crime Reporter Story Denouncing Partnership

"AFT President Weingarten's Deal With Coca-Cola Questioned by Campaign to Stop Killer Coke," PRWeb Press Release, April 15, 2015
Read Press Release

"AFT Ends Four Month Old Coca-Cola Boycott" Corporate Crime Reporter, March 31, 2015
Read Article

4. Coke CEO Kent Tries to Suppress Exposé of Fatalities and Serious Injuries in the Coke System

When Ray Rogers introduced the Shareowner Proposal Regarding Proxy Access on behalf of John Harrington, president of Harrington Investments, Inc., Coca-Cola Chair/CEO Muhtar Kent unsuccessfully tried to prevent him from listing examples of the numerous Coca-Cola-caused deaths and injuries worldwide to both workers and the public. The resolution received more than 40% of the vote.

Watch the video of the clash between Rogers and Kent on YouTube