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A Resolution in Support of Coca-Cola Corporate Responsibility

WHEREAS: In January, 2000, the University of California established a new Code of Conduct for Trademark Licensees (hereafter "Code of Conduct"), which requires all companies with whom the University maintains trademark licensing arrangement to adhere to basic labor and human rights standards;

WHEREAS: the Code of Conduct, created with substantial student input, is one of the strongest policies of its kind in the country and has already been used effectively to improve sweatshop working conditions in numerous countries;

WHEREAS: various campuses of the University of California system have entered contracts with The Coca-Cola Company, which allow Coca-Cola to sell its products on campus and use the University's name and image in marketing;

WHEREAS: credible reports by the press and human rights groups have documented extraordinarily serious human rights abuses in facilities producing Coca-Cola products in Colombia, South America, including the kidnapping, torture, and assassination of workers and union activists;

WHEREAS: these human rights abuses violate the letter and the spirit of the University's Code of Conduct and all other principles of social responsibility that the University avows; be it

RESOLVED: That UCSA sends a letter to President Dynes and other UCOP officials charged with overseeing the University's contract with Coca-Cola, encouraging them to act swiftly to ensure that the University's Code of Conduct is enforced with vigilance and that the University re-evaluate its relationship with Coca-Cola in light of the company's human rights record; be it further

RESOLVED: That USCA send a letter to President Dynes requesting that, if the University chooses to establish a new advisory group to evaluate issues related to the Code of Conduct, that this committee include substantial representation of students (appointed by UCSA, as has occurred in the past), and substantial representation of University staff and faculty with expertise in international labor and human rights issues; be it further

RESOLVED: That UCSA Vice-Chair send a letter to Coca-Cola C.E.O. Douglas Daft requesting an accounting of the situation in Colombia and asking that Coca-Cola:

  • Denounce the violence that is occurring in the name of Coca-Cola in Colombia.
  • Respect the fundamental rights to free association and to organize trade unions, as reflected in Colombian law, Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, as well as Conventions 87 & 88 of the International Labor Organization.
  • Announce publicly in Colombia its intention to participate in an investigation of the violence at its bottling plants.
  • Reinforce Coca-Cola's public stance against violence by directing all bottling plants in Colombia to stop dealing with any armed groups that are participating in violence against trade unionists.
  • Establish a complaint and reporting process which will allow union members to report violations occurring in Coca-Cola bottling plants to an official of the company who will then investigate and take swift remedial action against these violations.
  • Provide compensation to the known victims of violence at Coca-Cola bottling plants.