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Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Coca-Cola: American Icon or Corporate Criminal?

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Presentation on theme: "Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Coca-Cola: American Icon or Corporate Criminal?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Coca-Cola: American Icon or Corporate Criminal?

2 Stop Killer Coke Presentation September 5, 2013 This PowerPoint presentation serves as a summary of some of the global crimes of The Coca-Cola Company. For more information, please visit We hope that, after learning about the ugly reality behind Coca-Cola, you will join the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke.

3 Introduction to Campaign & Issues 1. A Brief History of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke 2. Labor & Human Rights Abuses Worldwide 3. A History of Racial Discrimination 4. Serious Health Risks 5. Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance: Socially Irresponsible 6. Profiteers of Coca-Cola Corporate Greed 7. Take Action! 8. More Resources

4 Campaign to Stop Killer Coke A Brief History The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, created by Corporate Campaign, Inc., is a worldwide movement based on the efforts of thousands of volunteers. Corporate Campaign was originally contacted by Terry Collingsworth and Dan Kovalik, lawyers for SINALTRAINAL, the major union representing Coca-Cola workers in Colombia, to help stop the gruesome violence against union leaders at Coca-Cola facilities there. We were shocked by what we found. However, it turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg. The company has abused its power for decades while raking in billions by exploiting workers, communities and precious water resources around the globe. The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is demanding justice for workers and communities harmed by the company, while acting as a watchdog. Here is a brief summary of how we are beating this corporate giant:

5 Educating & Organizing Working with students to “kick Coke off campuses” has led to dozens of colleges & universities ending their ties with Coca-Cola Working with labor unions & labor councils, Coke has been banned from many union facilities & functions Attending Coca-Cola’s annual stockholders meetings to challenge company executives & board members about Coke’s atrocities Attending conferences, building coalitions, organizing protests & educating the public about Coke’s crimes Publishing reports & electronic newsletter Maintaining and

6 Students Leading the Way Students protest at a Coca-Cola Shareholders Meeting College and university students have been at the forefront of holding Coca-Cola accountable. Dozens of Coke-free campuses now include City University of New York (CUNY); Rutgers University; Stony Brook University (SUNY); DePaul University; University of California, Berkeley; Smith College, University of Saskatchewan, University of Sussex, and University of Bangor. If you are a student, or work on a college, university, junior high or high school campus, we’d love to work with you on a Kick Killer Coke Off Campus Campaign.

7 Labor Unions Play a Critical Role SOUTH CAROLINA STATE AFL-CIO Bans Coca-Cola products “RESOLVED that South Carolina State AFL-CIO ban Coca-Cola products from its facilities and functions in solidarity…” UAW Pres. Bob King: “ We're going to pull Coke out of the international union and all of our shops and we're going to ask all our local unions to do the same…”

8 Labor and Human Rights Abuses Worldwide More well-documented information can be found at: Colombia Leaders of SINALTRAINAL, the union representing Coke workers in Colombia, have been threatened, tortured, kidnapped, illegally detained and/or murdered by paramilitaries who have a history of working closely with management. Lawsuits in 2001 and 2006 charged that Coke bottlers "contracted with or otherwise directed paramilitary security forces that utilized extreme violence and murdered, tortured, unlawfully detained or otherwise silenced trade union leaders.” For more information:

9 Atrocities Against SINALTRAINAL & Its Leaders Representing Coca-Cola Workers Nine murdered; leaders face constant threats. Luis Eduardo Garcia, Alvaro Gonzalez and Jose Domingo Flores falsely imprisoned for 6 months. 3 family members of hunger-striker Efrain Guerrero murdered Sixteen outsourced workers fired for joining SINALTRAINAL Reported: Coke Colombia president authorizes police to use violence to stop protests at Medellin plant. Protesters fired. Thugs looking for Juan Carlos Galvis enter his home, gag & tie up wife; spray her with red paint; threaten to kill daughter. Juan Carlos Galvis & William Mendoza face constant death threats, are fighting against prison sentences over false charges; SINALTRAINAL Pres. Javier Correa faces constant death threats. 7/27/13: Coke in Medellin fired 132 workers, including 18 SINALTRAINAL members, to avoid negotiating a list of demands addressing precarious labor and pitiful wages. 1990-2012 1996 2004 2007 2010 2011 2012/2013

10 “The constant pressure of driving around with bodyguards waiting for the next death threat has clearly gotten to [Juan Carlos Galvis]…‘It is tough,’ he says, ‘we are on the brink of death, but we keep surviving. We bring in new members to the union, but the company fires them. If it weren’t for international solidarity, we would have been eliminated long ago. That is the truth!’ ” Excerpt from “The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth…” by Michael Blanding Released September 16, 2010 Penguin Books

11 Developed by Brigitte Sutherland, UK, & member of Battery Operated Orchestra. 19902012

12 SINALTRAINAL leaders Juan Carlos Galvis (pictured left) & William Mendoza, both targets for assassination, are now being falsely accused by three former paramilitaries of planting a bomb in a Coca-Cola plant in 1998. "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!“ Juan Carlos Galvis “We are going to kill your girl and return her to you in a plastic bag!” Telephone threat by paramilitary to William Mendoza (pictured right) because of his union activities: Labor and Human Rights Abuses: Colombia

13 For information: http://www.thecoca-colacase.org

14 Scene in "The Coca-Cola Case ” (Released in 2010) Two "happy" Coca-Cola workers in Colombia were asked: "Are you unionized?" "No, you can't join the union or you'll be fired." "How much did you make today?" "$15 dollars for 15 hours!"

15 Coca-Cola‘s Bogus Investigations: Lies, Deception & Cover-ups by Ed Potter & CEO's Daft, Isdell & Kent Nobody was fooled by Coca-Cola's claims in 2004-2005 that "investigations" into charges of Coke's complicity in human rights abuses in Colombia by its law firm White & Case & Cal Safety Compliance Corp., a discredited firm it hired, totally exonerated the company. In August 2005, an Independent Investigation Commission comprised of representatives from university administrations, the Workers Rights Consortium, the Fair Labor Association and United Students Against Sweatshops was formed to oversee an independent investigation. When Coca-Cola's Director of Global Labor Relations Ed Potter realized Coca-Cola could not control the scope or the findings of the investigation, he used subterfuge to subvert the Commission's efforts. This led to New York University and the University of Michigan to remove Coke beverages from their campuses.

16 In 2006, Coca-Cola and Ed Potter came up with a new scam. Coca- Cola's CEO Neville Isdell and Potter claimed that the United Nation's International Labor Organization (ILO), at the request of Coca-Cola and the IUF, an international labor association, had agreed to conduct the sought after independent investigation. The persons in charge at the ILO in Geneva told Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers that they never agreed to conduct such an investigation. Ron Oswald, head of the IUF and no friend of SINALTRAINAL, never challenged Coke's lies in what became a 2 1/2-year public relations scam. Oswald finally admitted that Coke lied and the IUF never made such a request to the ILO. The scam gave CFO Tim Slottow at the University of Michigan the cover he sought to bring Coke back on campus. Coca-Cola's Global Labor Relations Director Ed Potter

17 In June, 2007, the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald reported: "Employers led by Coca-Cola executive [Ed Potter] stopped the International Labour Organisation examining violations of workplace rights in Colombia..." (Potter, for about 2 decades, has served as the U.S. employer representative to the ILO and is the international business spokesman on Applications of Conventions and Recommendations Committee at the annual ILO conference!) For more information: ‘Exposing Coke's Lies About ILO Colombian Probe’, go to In The Documentary film, The Coca- Cola Case, an ILO representative interviewed in Colombia, refutes any suggestion that the ILO was doing any such investigation. The fact is, the ILO does not conduct human rights investigations of individual companies and is not qualified to do so. Former Coke CEO/Chair E. Neville Isdell

18 The vast majority of Colombian Coke workers are not considered "employees" but outsourced workers. They are not covered by Coca- Cola's "Codes of Conduct". They receive minimal pay; meager, if any benefits; have no job security; no future with the company and are fired if they try to organize or join a union. With respect to Colombia, Coca-Cola has repeatedly misled the public by falsely claiming that more than 30% of its workers belong to unions in contrast to only about 4% for the country as a whole. What Coke didn't reveal is that some 80-90% of its workers in Colombia are Turning Employees Into Non-Employees! not considered Coca-Cola employees. At best, only about 4% of workers wearing Coke uniforms, driving Coke trucks and helping to make Coke lots of profits are actually union members.

19 Dr. Andrew Higginbottom of England's Kingston University wrote that in 1990, “the ‘Coca-Cola System’ in Colombia employed more than 12,000 workers, of whom 9,000 had permanent employment contracts. By 2001 there were only 2,500 direct employees, and by the beginning of 2005 less than 1,000 workers had stable employment contracts. The workforce Colombia is still nearly 10,000 workers, but 90% of these are now 'flexible' workers, employed indirectly through various forms of sub-contracting..." Coca-Cola and its bottlers, worldwide, constantly strive to outsource more of their workforce!

20 Labor and Human Rights Abuses Worldwide Guatemala 2010 Lawsuits charge Coca- Cola with involvement in murdering, kidnapping and torture of Coca-Cola union leaders and family members Alberto Vicente Chavez Son & nephew murdered; teenage daughter gang raped José Armando Palacios Survived assassination attack; Granted political asylum in U.S. Interview with Chavez: Interview with Palacios:

21 Coke's Legacy in Guatemala in 1970's & 1980's "For nine years the 450 workers at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Guatemala City fought a battle with their employer for their jobs, their trade union and their lives. Three times they occupied the plant--on the last occasion for thirteen months. Three General Secretaries of their union were murdered and five other workers killed. Four more were kidnapped and have disappeared. "Against all odds they survived...A huge international campaign of protests and boycotts was central to their struggle. AS a result, the Coca- Cola workers forced concessions from one of the world's largest multinational food giants, and kept the Guatemalan trade union movement alive through a dark age of government repression." Excerpt from Soft Drink Hard Labour Guatemalan Workers Take On Coca-Cola Published by Latin America Bureau (UK) 1987

22 China BBC News (5/21/07) reported that Coca-Cola has been accused of benefiting from prison labor in China. Chinese press reported in Dec. 2008 that Coke employees are “involved in the most dangerous, intense & tiresome labor, work the longest hours, but receive the lowest wages and face arrears and even cutbacks in their pay.” For more information, go to: On August 12, 2009, a labor dispatch company hired by Coca-Cola’s Hangzhou bottling plant threatened two university student-workers seeking back pay owed them and other workers upon their resignation. Xiao Liang was beaten up by two managers at Coke’s labor dispatch company’s office, resulting in serious wounds over his left eye, left hand, and right ear and was diagnosed with a ruptured eardrum, resulting in compromised hearing capacity. Coke has never approached the student-workers to explain wage arrears and use of violence. Labor and Human Rights Abuses Worldwide

23 Mexico has the highest per capita consumption of Coca-Cola and is a huge profit center for Coke. has one of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world. Xaviera Cabada Barron, Asistente General of El Poder Del Consumidor: “These pictures are from inside a school in Chilapa Guerrero. You can see the basketball court [bottom] with the same colors of Coke and behind all the propaganda in the cafeteria. Years ago, Coke had said that they were not going to do any propaganda to children under 12. I guess Mexico is the exception."

24 Coca-Colonization Coca-Colonization in Mexico expanded when Vicente Fox, president of Coca- Cola Mexico, became president of Mexico (2000-2006). Under Pres. Fox, Coca-Cola was given 27 water concessions from the Mexican government which allowed Coke to pollute water and steal water owned by indigenous peoples. Nineteen of the concessions are for the extraction of water from aquifers and from 15 different rivers. Labor and Human Rights Abuses: Mexico

25 Evidence shows that The Coca-Cola Company has cheated Mexican workers and their government out of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars over the past couple of decades through an illegal scheme of simulation and tax evasion which continues to this day. At annual meetings from 2010 to 2013, Muhtar Kent, Chair and CEO of The Coca- Cola Company, has repeatedly lied to shareholders about ongoing lawsuits and investigations by Mexican authorities. For more information: Labor and Human Rights Abuses: Mexico

26 El Salvador Human Rights Watch reported in 2004 that Coca-Cola benefits from illegal hazardous child labor in sugar cane fields Photo on right is taken from Mark Thomas’s 2007 documentary, “DISPATCHES: Mark Thomas on Coca-Cola” shown in prime time on UK’s Channel 4. Child wielding a machete to harvest sugar cane for Coca-Cola’s sugar processor. Photo taken in 2007. Labor and Human Rights Abuses Worldwide See the film at:

27 India Access to potable water has been declared a human right by the United Nations. On 28 July 2010, through Resolution 64/292, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights. Coca-Cola’s exploitation of water resources have seriously hurt communities, particularly in India, China, Mexico, El Salvador and African countries. For more information: Labor and Human Rights Abuses Worldwide

28 Of the 200 countries where Coca-Cola is sold, India reportedly has the fastest-growing market, but the adverse impacts of Coke’s operations there have subjected Coca-Cola to a firestorm of criticism and protest. Coca-Cola plants in Plachimada and Balia have been forced to shut down. Daily protests from large demonstrations to small vigils continue over Coke’s practices that have turned “farmlands into wastlands”. Coca-Cola ‘s toxic waste has polluted land and water while operations have drained out vast amounts of groundwater. Suicide rates among Indian farmers whose livelihoods are being destroyed are growing at an alarming rate. Please visit the India Resource Center at http://www.indiaresource.org Armed with banners demanding “Shut Down Coca-Cola”, over 2,000 villagers marched to the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Mehdiganj in India demanding its closure.

29 Coca-Cola’s History of Racial Discrimination Coca-Cola has a sordid history of racial discrimination and human rights abuses on a worldwide scale, which persist to this day. No amount of lies and self-serving propaganda, spread through billions of dollars in advertising, can continue to deceive the public and hide this company’s crimes and immoral behavior. Because of Coke’s discrimination against black workers, Martin Luther King, Jr, in his last speech told his audience in Memphis, Tennessee, “We are asking you tonight to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola...” In 2001, to settle a class action lawsuit accusing Coca-Cola of systematic racial discrimination against African-Americans, the company agreed to pay $192.5 million in what became the largest racial discrimination settlement in U.S. history! “We are asking you tonight to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola…” Dr. King calls for boycott of Coca-Cola:

30 Black and Latino workers from Coke’s bottling plants and warehouses in Queens, Elmsford, and Smithtown, NY and Carlstadt, NJ, dubbed The Coke 16, charge that due to years of racial discrimination, they have suffered from biased work assignments, unfair discipline and retaliation, and a caustic work environment. Current lawsuits claim that minority workers at Coca-Cola are typically assigned to the most undesirable and physically dangerous jobs and that managers contravene the seniority system by giving better jobs and more overtime hours to Caucasian workers with less seniority. Minority workers become the object of racial slurs and are denied opportunities for promotion. For more information: http://stopcokediscrimination.org

31 If You Dare Speak up about Racial Discrimination, Coca-Cola Says: ‘You’re Fired!” Queens. New York resident Sandra Walker was suspended, but found innocent of charges that she told a supervisor, “You’re a dead man,” after witnesses proved she told the supervisor, “You’re a racist.” Yet Sandra was never reimbursed for five weeks lost pay. “I complained about recurring abuses. “This led to me being interrogated by persons from Coke’s Human Resources Dept. in Atlanta. I was asked such irrational questions as, ‘Sandra, do you have any personal friends who are HIV Positive?’ Then I was terminated.” Brooklyn, New York resident Yvette Butler, in retaliation for speaking up, was unjustly fired from her job. ”As a result, I lost my home and with three children had to move into a city homeless shelter for 13 months. I endured offensive racial comments and harassment on the job, as well as unfair and dangerous work assignments.” Yvette still suffers from depression and anxiety from the mistreatment at the hands of supervisors, managers and co-workers. For more information: http://stopcokediscrimination.org

32 Dominican Day Parade, NYC Photo from CNN-iReport Rachel Cauvin Coke 16 Protests Wall Street Protest Against Muhtar Kent "2-4-6-8, Why does Coke discriminate!" Colombian Day Parade, NYC Labor Day Parade, NYC

33 Reuters reported (10/31/11), “U.S. children and teenagers are seeing far more soda advertising than before, with blacks and Hispanics being major targets…” according to a report from the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. “Children's and teens' exposure to full-calorie soda ads on television doubled from 2008 to 2010, the report found, fueled by increases from Coca-Cola Co and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc.” (Coca-Cola is a major distributor for the Dr Pepper Snapple Group.) “Children were exposed to 22 percent fewer ads for PepsiCo Inc sugary drinks, it found.” “Black children and teens saw 80 to 90 percent more ads than white children including twice as many for energy drink 5-Hour Energy and Coca-Cola's vitamin water and Sprite …” “Over the same period, Hispanic children saw 49 percent more ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks on Spanish-language television, and Hispanic teens saw 99 percent more ads.” National Public Radio reported that current and former employees of the local Coca-Cola bottler in Dallas accused the company of stocking store shelves in black and Hispanic neighborhoods with expired soft drinks. The current and former delivery drivers said the dumping of outdated products reflected the company’s contemptuous attitude toward minorities. Coca-Cola Targets Minority Children to Buy Unhealthy Beverages

34 Serious Health Risks Coca-Cola remains under fire for spending billions annually to aggressively market unhealthy beverages that are damaging the health and well-being of children and adults. Dangerous ingredients in Coke’s beverages include: Sugar, high fructose corn syrup and caloric content which fuel the obesity and diabetes epidemics Phosphoric Acid which destroys bones by contributing to osteoporosis and destroys teeth Artificial sweetener aspartame which is linked to numerous diseases and health problems, such as seizures, vision impairment, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, etc. Food dyes and other chemical additives which are known carcinogens For more information:

35 Tax Evasion & Tax Avoidance Socially Irresponsible In September, 2012, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, reported that The Coca-Cola Company ranks #11 in tax avoidance among U.S. multinational companies, stashing $13.9 billion, or 88% of its $15.8 billion in cash in offshore accounts. He stated: "At a time when we face such difficult budget choices, and when American families are facing a tax increase and cuts in critical programs from education to health care to food inspections to national defense, these offshore schemes are unacceptable.“ "The Caribbean island has helped scores of U.S. companies, including Coca-Cola Co…, to legally avoid billions in tax payments to the U.S. government," said then- U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan [D-ND]. President Obama: "On the campaign, I used to talk about the outrage of a building in the Cayman Islands that had over 12,000 businesses claim this building as their headquarters. And I've said before, either this is the largest building in the world or the largest tax scam. And I think the American People know which it is: The kind of tax scam that we need to end."

36 Mexico Vietnam The Philippines For more on Coca-Cola tax evasion go to:

37 Coca-Cola Top Executives: Profiteers of Corporate Greed Muhtar Kent, Chair & CEO 2012 Compensation: $30,460,186 Gary Fayard, Exec VP & CEO 2012 Compensation: $8,222,962 Ahmet Bozer, Exec VP; Pres., Coca-Cola International 2012 Compensation: $7,343,119 Steven Cahillane, Exec VP Pres., Coca-Cola Americas 2012 Compensation: $6,149,084 José Octavio Reyes, Vice Chair The Coca-Cola Export Corp. 2012 Compensation: $9,562,596 These Executives of The Coca-Cola Company understand the incredible harm their policies are doing to workers, the environment and to children throughout the world, yet they continue without conscience in their ruthless quest for profits. For more information:

38 Coca-Cola Directors: Profiteers of Corporate Greed For more information: Herbert Allen Pres. & CEO Allen & Co. Inc Ronald Allen Chair/Pres. & CEO Aaron’s Inc. Howard Buffett President Buffett Farms Richard Daley Former Mayor Chicago Barry Diller Chairman IAC/InterActive Corp Helene D. Gayle President & CEO CARE USA Evan Greenberg Chair, Pres. & CEO ACE Limited Alexis Herman Chair and CEO New Ventures LLC Robert Kotick Pres., CEO & Director Activision Blizzard, Inc. Muhtar Kent Chairman & CEO The Coca-Cola Co. Maria E. Lagomasino CEO & Managing Partner WE Family Offices Donald F. McHenry Professor Georgetown University Sam Nunn Former U.S. Senator, Georgia Former Partner, King & Spalding James Robinson III General Partner RRE Ventures Peter V. Ueberroth Chair Contrarian Group Jacob Wallenberg Chair Investor AB

39 Warren Buffett: Profiteer of Coca-Cola Corporate Greed Chairman and CEO Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Coca-Cola board member, 1989-2006 Buffet sat on the board of Coca-Cola for 17 years. In all that time, as one of Coke's top policymakers as well as its largest stockholder, he never challenged or questioned the company's labor, human rights and environmental abuses or the aggressive marketing of nutritionally worthless and damaging soft drinks to children. He and all members of the board opposed resolution after resolution trying to place Coca-Cola on the right side of human rights. For more information: Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has the largest ownership stake in The Coca-Cola Company — 400,000,000 common shares valued at $16.164 billion (as of 6/13/13).

40 Take Action! You are the future of this campaign. If you’re outraged by what you’ve learned today, we urge you to take action; join The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke at http://www.KillerCoke.org

41 More Resources There are numerous places to find additional information on the crimes of Coca-Cola, and always a safe place to start when researching the Company. Here is a list of additional places to learn more: Videos & Interviews Books Reports To read important reports, go to and visit the menu on the left, “Reports, Sensitive Issues and Exposes,” and choose a report from various sources. Literature For Campaign literature, go to, and visit the menu on the left, “Flyers, Min- Posters & Stickers.”

42 Solidarity Forever — Justice Will Prevail Please keep us posted on your efforts and feel free to contact the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke anytime at 1 (718) 852-2808 and/or

43 “ The world of Coca-Cola is a world full of lies, deception, immorality, corruption and widespread labor, human rights and environmental abuses. Worldwide it operates like a criminal syndicate with impunity. “ When you think of Coca-Cola, think of a company that inflicts great hardship and despair upon many people and communities throughout the world and knowingly undermines the health and well-being of millions of children. “ When consumers see Coca-Cola ads and displays, they should think of crimes and other misconduct so unthinkable that all of Coke’s beverages become undrinkable! ” Ray Rogers Director Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Speaking the Truth About Coca-Cola

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