Boycott Coca-Cola! Print
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Bulletin archive - Issue11 - October ? December 2003
Wednesday, 01 October 2003 01:00

Colombian unions have called for a year long boycott (starting 22 July 2003) of Coca Cola and their products, in solidarity with SINALTRAINAL, the Colombian Food and Drink Workers’ Union.

SINALTRAINAL has suffered the assassination of 8 union leaders (and the wife of one victim) killed by paramilitary death squads, allegedly acting under orders of Coca Cola management. The union has also witnessed the arbitrary detention, torture, forced displacement and forced exile of hundreds of their members. A Judge in the USA, hearing a case brought in solidarity with SINALTRAINAL has ruled that there is enough evidence of these allegations for the case to continue, yet Coca Cola refuses to cooperate with the union, and continues its policy of repression. The Boycott was originally called by SINALTRAINAL, and has been endorsed by the CUT (the main workers central in Colombia) and the World Social Forum, for the following reasons (among others!):

  • For the violation of the human rights of workers and communities.

  • For profits made off the back of assassinations, imprisonment, kidnapping, death threats and dismissal of trade unionists in Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Peru, USA, Venezuela, Palestine, Turkey, Iran and other countries.

  • For racial discrimination against black communities, and for discrimination against those with HIV or AIDS.

  • For its unfettered use of the world’s water, and the criminal theft of water from communities in India.

  • For supporting the criminal oligarchy in Venezuela, and for its historic interference in the internal affairs of peoples.

www.sinaltrainal.org
www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk

COCA COLA WORKERS KILLED

AVELINO ACHICANOY ERAZO was assassinated during a strike in Pasto. Avelino was a member of the union's Executive Committee.

JOSÉ ELEASAR MANCO DAVID was a SINALTRAINAL leader in the town of Carepa, in Antioquia. Assassinated on 8th April 1994.

LUIS ENRIQUE GIRALDO ARANGO worked for Coca Cola in Carepa for 17 years. Assassinated on 20th April 1994.

LUIS ENRIQUE GÓMEZ GRANADO was a regional leader of the union working in Carepa plant Assassinated in front of family on 23rd April 1995.

ISIDRO SEGUNDO GIL GIL was General Secretary and a member of the negotiating team. Assassinated inside Carepa plant on 6th December 1996.

CARMEN HERRERA PEREZ, the wife of Isidro Segundo, was pulled out of her home in Apartadó, Antioquia and assassinated a few yards away.

JOSÉ LIBARDO HERRERA OSORIO was 65 years old when taken by force from the Carepa plant by heavily armed paramilitaries on 26th December 1996. Body found near Chigorodó cemetry.

GUILLERMO GÓMEZ MAIGUAL was a worker with Coca Cola and union leader in Pasto. He committed suicide on 20th April 1998, due to the economic difficulties of the workers and their families. Coca Cola had ended the franchise, leading to the sacking of the entire workforce. The plant was later reopened by Panamco Coca Cola with temporary workers on lower wages and no trade union.

ADOLFO DE JESÚS MÚNERA LÓPEZ Ex-worker at the Barranquilla plant. Coca Cola had sacked him in 1997 after accusing him of being a subversive. The High Court had ruled the employer had fired him illegally and had to reinstate him. He was assasinated the next day, on 31st August 2002 at the door of his mother's home.

ÓSCAR DARÍO SOTO POLO A worker at the Montería plant in Cordoba. He was a leader of "Sinaltrainbec" and a member of the delegation presenting the workers demands to the employer on behalf of his union and Sinaltrainal. He was assassinated on 21st June 2001, during negotiations.