WHEREAS, on April 9, 2005, NYSUT, the parent body of the UFT passed a resolution that included the following clauses;
WHEREAS, more than 3,000 trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia since 1990; and
WHEREAS, both NYSUT and the AFT are on record as denouncing what the AFT Executive Counsel has called "the persistent violence against teachers and other working people in Colombia", noting "…that trade unionists continue to be the targets of threats, physical intimidation, displacement and even assassination.";
WHEREAS, the Coca-Cola Company and its Colombian bottlers are being sued in the United States under the Alien Claims Tort Act for having "contracted with or otherwise directed paramilitary security forces that used extreme violence and murdered, tortured, and unlawfully detained or otherwise silenced trade union leaders.";
WHEREAS, a fact-finding delegation of labor, educator and student representatives including members of AFT, AFSCME/CSEA and CWA concluded, based on a 10-day trip to Colombia in January of 2004, that Coca-Cola is complicit in human rights abuses in Colombia" and that its "complicity is deepened by its repeated pattern of bringing criminal charges against union activists who have spoken out about the company's collusion with the paramilitaries.";
WHEREAS, the Proxy Committees of the New York City Employees' Retirement System and the New York City Teachers' Retirement System, holders of 5,257.217 shares of Coca-Cola Company common stock with an estimated market value of $209,132,092, resolved on October 6, 2004 to submit a shareholder proposal at Coca-Cola's next annual meeting asking that Coca-Cola sponsor an independent investigation of allegations against the company, said investigation to include representatives from U.S and Colombian human rights organizations;
WHEREAS, NYSUT voted in 2005 to refrain from serving or selling Coca-Cola products at its offices or at any venue for its events, meetings, conferences and conventions until the allegations have been investigated;
BE IT RESOLVED that the United Federation of Teachers will urge Commissioner Steiner to deny a waiver to Cathie Black; based on her lack of educational qualifications, as well as the facts mentioned above.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the UFT will recommend to the Mayor to withdraw Ms. Black’s nomination, and embark on a full and public search to identify an individual with the full educational qualifications and experience to lead the nation’s largest public school system into the future.
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