"The Coca-Cola System operates like a criminal syndicate with impunity...it's a world full of lies, deception, immorality, corruption and widespread labor, human rights and environmental abuses...The Coca-Cola Company continues to undermine the health of children by benefiting from hazardous child labor in sugar cane fields and by aggressively marketing unhealthy soft drinks that fuel the childhood high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes epidemics worldwide."
Corporate Campaign Director Ray Rogers
Strong labor unions are critical to improve wages, working conditions and human rights for all workers and for democracies to flourish. For workers in Colombia and Guatemala, a strong union can also mean the difference between life and death.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke originated to stop the gruesome cycle of violence against union leaders and organizers in Colombia in efforts to crush their union, SINALTRAINAL. Since then, violence, abuse and exploitation leveled against Coke workers and communities have been uncovered in other countries as well.
From the Home Page of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke website: www.KillerCoke.org
These abuses are well documented in two recent books; "The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth behind The World's Favorite Soft Drink," by Michael Blanding and "Belching Out The Devil: Global Adventures With Coca-Cola," by Mark Thomas. Coca-Cola's abuses are also detailed in two feature-length documentaries; "The Coca-Cola Case" (National Film Board of Canada, 2010, (www.thecoca-colacase.org) ... and "Dispatches: Mark Thomas on Coca-Cola," which aired during primetime on national television in the UK. Documentation of Coke's crimes worldwide and how you can support the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke can be found at www.killercoke.org.
For unions and their members , you'll find sample resolutions to make your labor unions and councils Coca-Cola Free. You'll also find a list of local, national and international unions that are removing Coke machines and banning Coke from their facilities, meetings and events.
For student activists , you'll find a step-by-step organizing packet to campaign for a Coca-Cola Free Campus. You'll also find a list of colleges, universities and secondary schools that have removed all Coke products from their campuses.
You can visit a Campaign Store at which you can order films, buttons and t-shirts for a Campaign donation.
We have now broken down "Coke's Crimes" by country — the third option on the left. These countries in which deplorable human rights and environmental abuses proliferate include China, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Mexico, The Philippines... We will continue to add additional countries and information as we receive documentation.
Journalists, researchers and other interested parties can link to news articles, newsletters, reports, lawsuits, videos, interviews and more on the left hand menu.
Supporters from the Annual March to shut down the School of the Americas (SOA)
otherwise known as the "School of the Assassins"
Coke's CEO, Muhtar Kent (top left), is questioned by Campaign supporters Ray Rogers (top right), Lewis Friedman (row two, left) and Jeffrey Wright (row two, right) and Campaign supporters Diane Mathiowitz (row three, left) and Betty Martini (row three, right). The Campaign was supported outside by the mobile truck which circled the meeting as well as the city of Atlanta.
"Imagine living under conditions that mean simply joining a trade union could get you and your family members killed, your daughter gang raped or see you driven into exile by the fear of company thugs. A growing chorus of labour lawyers, social critics and human rights activists are saying that is exactly the situation facing workers employed by Coca-Cola bottlers in Third World countries..."
"The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke focuses on holding Coca-Cola accountable for its horrific labour, human rights and environmental abuses and undermining the health of children worldwide.
" 'The campaign is a movement of "we's" and not "I's",' said Ray Rogers, the campaign's director, 'and we need all the help we can get if justice is to prevail.' "
"...the Coke campaign has grown into the largest anticorporate movement since the campaign against Nike for sweatshop abuses. Around the world, dozens of unions and more than twenty [now more than 60] universities have banned Coke from their facilities...the fight against Coke is a leap forward in international cooperation...The fight to hold it accountable has, in turn, broadly connected issues across continents to become a truly globalized grassroots movement."
"It's early Monday morning, but Ray Rogers has the full attention of some 70 students in a Rutgers University classroom. For nearly half an hour, the 61-year-old labor activist rails against Coca-Cola Co. (KO), taking the beverage giant to task for allegedly turning a blind eye as eight employees of Coke bottlers in Colombia were killed and scores more were threatened or jailed on trumped-up terrorism charges over the past decade...The union [SINALTRAINAL] alleges that Coke and its local bottler were complicit in these acts..."
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103 in Massachusetts pledged their solidarity with unions in Colombia and Guatemala by removing the Coke machine from their union hall and by promoting the film
"The Coca-Cola Case"
"For me, finding out about violence against union members in South America was just so wild -- even just to use Coke and murder in the same sentence just seems so shocking. Yet while there is no direct evidence that the Coca-Cola company in Atlanta was ordering violence against union members, there is just so much disturbing circumstantial evidence about the timing of these attacks and murders by paramilitaries occurring at the time when union members were negotiating better working conditions, and there is documentation of meetings between bottling plant managers and paramilitary commanders. In one case plant managers actually framed union workers and sent them to jail for six months for allegedly setting a bomb in the plant, even though they were later found completely innocent. But it destroyed their families in the meantime. Still, the company here has done very little to investigate these allegations, and in fact has done one whitewash after another when they've claimed to investigate it. It's really raised a lot of questions about what they knew, when they knew it, and why they haven't done more to stop it."
Proxy holder Ian Hoffmann raised the following question at Coca-Cola's 2010 annual shareholders meeting using information from Mark Thomas's "Belching Out the Devil":
"Before casting my vote for election of directors, I want to find out how board members plan to respond to statements made in 'Belching Out the Devil: Global Adventures with Coca-Cola' by British author Mark Thomas, published last year. Chapter after chapter describes Coke's complicity in widespread criminal behavior and other misconduct relating to labor, human rights and environmental abuses.
"Information in this book is very troubling. For example, is it true that Coca-Cola offered to pay at least eight figures, that is at least ten million dollars or more to end the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke and to settle the human rights abuse lawsuits claiming that Coke bottlers in Colombia are involved in the systematic intimidation, kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders.
"At the same time according to Mark Thomas's book and the documentary, "The Coca-Cola Case" now playing to packed audiences around the world, Coca-Cola demanded that 'anyone working for Coca-Cola FEMSA and involved in the lawsuits had to leave their jobs ... and would be legally bound never to criticize Coca-Cola ever again.' This, according to the author, would mean the union SINALTRAINAL 'would be finished and cease to exist in the Coca-Cola plants.'
"If the information contained in the film and the book covering corruption and misuse of power by Coca-Cola on a grand scale is true, what is the board going to do? Executives past and present have turned a blind eye and refused to address these serious issues and the costs to the company are growing. "
"What Coca-Cola Did to Stop the Union from Coming In" is about Jeffrey Wright, "an ex-employee of one of America's most popular soft drink companies who experiences first hand the misdeeds that this company went through to repress the local union from entering in. The book shows specific details of the unethical and illegal behavior that took place in 1986 and then again in 1994 among two of their top executives with every attempt to sabotage all efforts in implementing a union, the situations in the novel are true...
"How far will a company go to protect its own interest? Jeffrey Wright knows. In an attempt to crush union support in the workplace, Wright's employer offered him monetary compensation and continued employment -- if he would persuade his coworkers to vote out the union. With honesty and integrity, Wright took on his employer and filed criminal charges against them with the FBI indicting two top executives. This is one man's story about risking everything in the name of justice.
"His objective while writing this was to share knowledge with people about corporate misuse and describe to the reader the difference between the facts of corporate misconduct as opposed to the prestigious advertising companies use to promote themselves."
Visit the website: www.jeffreywrightbook.com
"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!"
"If it weren't for international solidarity,
We would have been eliminated long ago.
That is the truth."
— SINALTRAINAL VP Juan Carlos Galvis —
From the Home Page of the "Coca-Cola Case" website: www.TheCoca-ColaCase.org