The American Federation of Teachers has passed a resolution banning all Coca-Cola products from its facilities and events.
In the resolution, the union called on affiliates to “participate in campaigns to remove Coca-Cola products from their schools, colleges, hospitals and other places in which they work.”
The resolution spotlights Coca-Cola’s dismal human rights record and long-standing allegations of violence against union leaders in Colombia and Guatemala.
The human rights abuses have been documented by, among others, journalist Michael Blanding in The Coke Machine: The Truth Behind the World’s Favorite Soft Drink and by Human Rights Watch and by investigative reporter, Mark Thomas, in the nationally televised documentary Dispatches: Mark Thomas on Coca Cola.
“You can always count on the American Federation of Teachers to stand up for children, labor and human rights,” said Ray Rogers, lead organizer, human rights advocate and director of Corporate Campaign, Inc. and Campaign to Stop Killer Coke.
“AFT’s actions to hold the Coca-Cola Company accountable for what we see as its reprehensible practices worldwide, can only have a positive impact on society and the daily lives of countless endangered children and workers, who are now trapped in poverty and despair,” Rogers said. “I hope and expect that the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) will take similar action to protect the well-being of children and advance human rights everywhere. The AFT’s principled action is very significant and follows on the loss of scores of school contracts, and growing numbers of unions banning Coke products. This is a direct result of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke and is costing the company dearly.”