(This is a cross post originally published by the IUF)
Led by the IUF, unions representing Coca-Cola workers around the world held a spirited demonstration on September 13 outside a Coca-Cola Company-sponsored conference on business and human rights at the company’s global headquarters in Atlanta.
Representatives from the BCTGM International Union and Local 42 (Atlanta) participated in the protest.
The IUF, which represents the vast majority of union workers in the global Coca-Cola system, declined an invitation to participate in a conference designed to put a positive spin on the company’s operations at a time when Coke is systematically violating the rights of its own employees and those employed by its bottlers in Indonesia, Haiti, The Philippines, the U.S. and Ireland (click here to learn more).
“Through the IUF, the Coca-Cola Company is fully aware of these ongoing rights violations, yet refuses to take any significant action to rectify them. This human rights conference, a platform for promoting the Company’s increasingly threadbare real-world rights record, and Coke’s deliberately evasive recent human rights report, are Coke’s attempt to substitute public relations for genuine responsibility when it comes to respecting rights”, said IUF general secretary Sue Longley.
The IUF sent advanced information of ongoing right’s abuses at Coca-Cola to speakers at the conference so they were aware of the issues and asked them to raise these with TCCC. A number of speakers stopped to speak with demonstrators before they went into the conference.
The action concluded with an IUF alternative human rights briefing in a local university where trade union speakers from the USA, Indonesia and the Philippines described the reality of working for Coca-Cola.
Following the Atlanta conference protest, an international IUF delegation including trade union representatives from Haiti, Indonesia and The Philippines will be visiting North American Coca-Cola unions in the coming weeks.