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The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Phone: 604-266-6552
Fax: 604-267-3342

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  • Volume Eight, Number Five: July 2003

    Coca Cola Boycott Called: And Not Just for the Fun of It

    Coke fans around the globe are being asked to put down their bottles and switch to something else starting July 22.

    A coalition of labour, human rights, church and consumer organizations is called that day the International Day to Boycott Coca Cola, after a vote at last year’s World Social Forum in Puerto Alegre Brazil declared it an official day of action.

    According to the Christian Task Force on Central America, which is spearheading the campaign in North America, the action is in solidarity with SINALTRAINAL, the Colombian Food and Drinks Workers Union.

    “In a court case in the USA, brought by the United Steelworkers Union in solidarity with SINALTRAINAL, a judge has ruled that Coca Cola's bottlers have a case to answer, but the multinational refuses to cooperate with the union, and continues its policy of repression,” say spokespersons at the CTF’s Vancouver office. “In a similar case in Guatemala during the 80s, Coca Cola stood by and watched as union members within their bottling plants were assassinated by death squads. Coca Cola only acted to protect the lives of their workers when pressured into it by a consumer boycott.”

    They also claim bosses at bottling plants contracted by Coke in Latin American countries have actually funded their own death squads in order to thwart organizing drives and other community activities by their employees.

    Eight union leaders have been killed in Columbia this year for activities involving organizers at Coke bottling plants, the group says, and it wants the corporation’s main office to get involved in stopping these killings.

    Anyone wanting further information can contact the CTF at 604-875-9218 or by e-mail at ctfca@telus.net.

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