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Stop Killer Coke!
“If we lose this fight against Coke, first we will lose our union, next we will lose our jobs, and then we will all lose our lives!”
- Juan Carlos Galvis, Board Executive, Food and Beverage Workers Union
Coca-Cola is the largest manufacturer and marketer of nonalcoholic beverages and concentrated syrups worldwide and one of the most famous brands in the world. Coca-Cola is one of the largest and most-valued brands on the planet. To many people in the United States, it is not just a drink but a symbol of the American way of life and capitalism. Coca Cola and the company’s other drinks are nearly ubiquitous, they can be found in almost any restaurant or store in countries around the globe.
Coca-Cola was invented in Columbus, Georgia, and today more than 3,500 of Coca-Cola’s products are sold in over 200 countries. Dasani, Dannon, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply Orange and a myriad of other products are owned by Coca-Cola, including 4 of the 5 best-selling soft drinks in the world.
Although most of the world is aware of Coca-Cola’s corporate success, many people are unaware of the crimes committed by this company.
Hundreds of Coke workers and union leaders in Colombia and around the world have been tortured, kidnapped and/or illegally detained by paramilitary death squads hired by Coke’s bottlers. Coke managers have ordered the assassinations of at least nine union leaders in Colombia.
For example, in the 1990’s, there was a significant wage cut for Coke employees in Colombia that was resisted by the local union. Soon afterwards, the union leaders and many union members from SINALTRAINAL began to receive death threats from paramilitaries hired by their manager. These paramilitaries eventually murdered the union leader, Isidro Gil, in cold blood on the grounds of the Coke factory.
Coca-Cola Company is also using union busting schemes, polluting water resources in El Salvador for more than 130,000 people, and benefiting from hazardous child labor.
Students take action:
Within recent years, students have kicked Coke off of dozens of campuses, including New York University, Rutgers, and University of California, costing the Coca-Cola Company tens of millions of dollars.
Unions take action:
Labor unions have been the backbone of the middle and working classes. They’ve also been the forefront in the fight for human rights and justice. We urge you to stand in solidarity with workers around the globe and make your union coke-free.
For information on organizing your school to Stop Killer Coke, contact irtf[at]irtfcleveland.org. You can also visit the Campus Activism section and the Labor Union Solidarity section on the left hand menu at www.KillerCoke.org
Read more at:
Colombian Unionists Targeted: Can Three Assassins Get a Government to do Their Dirty Deeds?
Fred Hirsch, Alliance for Global Justice
Whistling in the Wind
The Coca-Cola Campaigns 1980-1985
Global Labor Institute