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April 19, 2005

WHEREAS Coca Cola has bottling plants world-wide in many underdeveloped countries including Colombia, and

WHEREAS many of these plants have been the sites of documented and egregious social and environmental abuses, and

WHEREAS union activists at Coca Cola plants in Colombia have been assassinated by paramilitary groups, and

WHEREAS a fact-finding delegation of labor, educator, and student representatives led by New York City Council member Hiram Monserrate and including members of AFT, AFSCME/CSEA, and CWA concluded, based on a 10-day trip to Colombia in January of 2004, that Coca-Cola is "complicit in human rights abuses in Colombia" and that its "complicity is deepened by its repeated pattern of bringing criminal charges against union activists who have spoken out about the company's collusion with the paramilitaries," and

WHEREAS Coca Cola has been brought to court in the U.S. for human rights violations and labor abuses both in the U.S. and abroad, and

WHEREAS union activists in Colombia and India are calling on their union brothers and sisters to boycott Coca Cola, and

WHEREAS renewing the contract with Coca Cola would, in essence, serve to validate Coca Cola's record of corporate social and environmental irresponsibility, and

WHEREAS law students are a significant percentage of consumers of beverages on campus, and

WHEREAS previous to the Coca Cola contract exclusivity was not discussed in a public forum or available for public comment and the contract agreement process was not transparent, and

THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Rutgers Newark Student Bar Association calls on Rutgers University to commit to urging the Companies it contracts with to pledge to respect and promote human and workers rights around the world, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Rutgers SBA voice its support for labor worldwide and its condemnation of corporate complicity in any violence against labor organizers or members, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Rutgers SBA urges President McCormick to commit to find alternatives to re-signing with Coca Cola, inclusive of, but not limited to non-exclusive contracts, greater choice in beverages, and high priority consideration of the social and environmental corporate responsibility, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Rutgers SBA urge Rutgers University, in their capacity as a Coca Cola shareowner, to vote in favor of the resolution, proposed by New York City Employees' Retirement System and the New York City Teachers' Retirement System, titled "Shareowner Proposal Regarding an Independent Delegation of Inquiry to Colombia", and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Rutgers SBA publicize the issue to the student body via e-mail and in its publications.