Tuesday, March 31, 2015

AFT Partnering with Coca-Cola and Ending Its Short-Lived Boycott

I hope Randi Weingarten at least got a lifetime's worth of free product for advancing Coca-Cola’s interests over the well being of children.  --- Ray Rogers, Director of Corporate Campaign, Inc. and Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
How many ways can you sell out? Let me count the ways. Didn't the AFT convention pass a resolution on Coke this past summer that Randi had the AFT Exec Council overturn?

Why is she getting our union involved with Coke? Is Coke providing any funding for AFT activities?

From: Lew Friedman
Date: March 29, 2015 at 11:49:09 PM GMT+1
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Fwd: AFT president bows to Coca-Cola: final revised statement for Corporate Crime Reporter--done Sunday 3/29
Hi All:

The AFT Exec Council decided to end the Coca-Cola boycott that was presented at last summer's convention and later passed. In addition, Randi and the AFT is partnering with Coca-Cola to address child labor.  The following is a statement by Ray Rogers, Director of Campaign to Stop Killer Coke.


Corporate Crime Reporter Editor Russell MoKhiber asked for a comment on 3/27/15 AFT announcement which follows:
Statement by Ray Rogers, Director of Corporate Campaign, Inc. and Campaign to Stop Killer Coke: Response to American Federation of Teachers' Announcement on 3/27/15 That The Union Is Partnering with Coca-Cola and Ending Its Short-Lived Boycott

AFT President Randi Weingarten Bows to Coca-Cola:
I hope Randi Weingarten at least got a lifetime's worth of free product for advancing Coca-Cola’s interests over the well being of children. Her actions have helped Coca-Cola promote yet another display of phony compassion for children, while obliterating the hard work of AFT members and local leaders to pass a resolution aimed at holding the company accountable for the use of illegal child labor in the dangerous fields of sugar cane harvesting, and Coke’s well-documented complicity in violence against union leaders in Colombia and Guatemala and the outsourcing of thousands of jobs to low-wage subcontractors.

CNN's Kyung Lah’s May 2, 2012 expose on illegal, hazardous child labor in Mindanao (‘Life Not So Sweet for Philippines' Sugar Cane Child Workers’) portrayed Coca-Cola as one of the main customers of Filipino sugar factories. One 13-year-old boy, Alvic James, explained that he dropped out of school when he was in the first grade because "his family didn't have enough money to eat.” Alvic says he wants to learn to read and write but because he is needed in the fields he has “no time to go to school."
The most effective way for Coca-Cola to help end illegal child labor in places like The Philippines and El Salvador is not through pointless additional studies, audits and meaningless rhetoric, but to pay sugar processors enough money to pay fair wages to sugar cane harvesters. Then these children can live a life free of the plantation fields and be in schools and playgrounds.
The resolution condemning Coca-Cola, which originated at its national convention and was made public last November, decided that the AFT would "refrain from serving or selling Coca-Cola products at its offices...at any venue for its events, meetings, conferences and conventions; and recommend to all its affiliates that they not serve or sell Coca-Cola products at their offices and at venues for their events; and encourages them to participate in campaigns to remove Coca-Cola products from their schools, colleges, hospitals and other places in which they work...and call on Coca-Cola to cease circumventing its own code of conduct by hiring workers through subcontracting rather than hiring permanent employees..." 

The photo of AFT President Weingarten sitting beside two of Coke's honchos displaying
 2 bottles of Coke, 2 bottles of Sprite, a can of Diet Coke and a large Coca-Cola canister is a classic. Ms. Weingarten should get paid well from Coke's advertising department as it continues to aggressively market products to children that fuel the childhood obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes epidemics.
A question for the 1.6 million teachers and health professionals AFT represents; what message does this photo and Ms. Weingarten's promotion of Coca-Cola send to teachers, parents and health professionals everywhere? 

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