Auros (auros) wrote,
Auros
auros

  • Mood:

Coca-Cola Corp kills people in Colombia, plus random Columbia House CD comment.

Board of Directors
The Coca Cola Company
PO Box 1734
Atlanta, GA 30301

Dear Coca-Cola Board Members:

I am shocked to learn of your indifference to the safety of workers who bottle your products. There are undisputed reports that Coca-Cola bottling plant managers in Colombia allowed, and possibly encouraged, paramilitary death squads to kidnap, torture, and murder SINAL-TRAINAL leaders and members in an effort to crush their union. One typical casualty of this policy was Isidro Segundo Gil, a prominent figure in the union, who was murdered in his workplace, and whose family now lives in hiding, for fear of being killed themselves. The day after Gil's death, a heavily armed group appeared at the plant and informed workers that if they did not quit their union by 4pm, they too would be murdered. Resignation forms had been prepared in advance by the plant manager, who had a history of socializing with the paramilitaries.

You dismiss such charges, but you can’t escape the fact that massive human rights violations have occurred, and continue to occur. Coca-Cola is responsible for the actions of its Colombian partners. Apart from any legal liability you will face, you have failed to use your influence to end violence against workers and their families. Your silence, both individually and as a board, is scandalous.

I ask you to act now to ensure that workers' basic human rights are respected. I cannot support a company that profits from torture and murder. If you do not act responsibly, I will encourage my friends, family, and colleagues not to purchase any Coca-Cola products, including Sprite, Fanta, Minute Maid, Nestea, Powerade, Swerve dairy drink, and Dasani water; nor to do business with SunTrust, the bank that is intimately connected with Coke.

Please let me know how you intend to address these concerns.

Sincerely,
(etc)



Board of Directors
SunTrust Banks, Inc.
303 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

Dear SunTrust Board Members:

There is overwhelming evidence that management at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia routinely allows, and possibly encourages, paramilitary death squads to kidnap, torture, and murder union leaders and organizers. One typical casualty of this policy was Isidro Segundo Gil, a prominent figure in the SINAL-TRAINAL union, who was murdered in his workplace, and whose family now lives in hiding, for fear of being killed themselves. The day after Gil's death, a heavily armed group appeared at the plant and informed workers that if they did not quit their union by 4pm, they too would be murdered. Resignation forms had been prepared in advance by the plant manager, who had a history of socializing with the paramilitaries. Coke's toleration for these acts of terror is indefensible.

Since the leadership of SunTrust is so intertwined with that of Coke, both companies must be held accountable. Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Douglas Daft serves on the boards of both Coca-Cola and SunTrust, as does James Williams, SunTrust’s former CEO. Douglas Ivester, Coca-Cola's retired CEO, also sits on the SunTrust board. SunTrust President and CEO Phillip Humann serves on the boards of both SunTrust and Coke’s largest subsidiary, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), as does CCE's former CEO, Summerfield Johnston, Jr. Each owns substantial equity in both Coke and SunTrust.

Since 1919, when SunTrust helped take Coca-Cola public, the bank and Coke have been so intimately linked that it's hard to tell them apart. SunTrust recently helped underwrite a $500 million bond and extended a $100 million line of credit to Coke. SunTrust is the second largest shareholder in Coca-Cola and the fifth largest in CCE. Coca-Cola's largest shareholder is Coke board member Warren Buffett, also the fifth largest shareholder in SunTrust.

As more people learn what Coca-Cola and SunTrust are doing, the bank's reputation and credibility will surely suffer. Many customers and potential customers -- including unions and their members -- will think twice before doing business with SunTrust.

As SunTrust's top policymakers, you have a fiduciary responsibility to avoid becoming embroiled in controversy that will affect the bank's bottom line. If "The Real Thing" won't do the right thing in Colombia, SunTrust should sever its ties with Coca-Cola.

Please let me know how you intend to address these concerns.

Sincerely,
(etc)



I think this is the first time Columbia House's selection of the month was ever something I wanted... They sent me a two-CD best-of collection of The Clash. Mmm. Rock the Casbah. :-)
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 2 comments