NYU Student Group Campaigns to Reinstate Ban on Coca-Cola Products
Law Students for Economic Justice, a student group at NYU, is proposing a ban on Coca-Cola products to protest the company’s alleged involvement in violent union-busting.
NYU instated the original ban in 2005 in response to rumors of the company’s alliance with paramilitary groups to intimidate and kill union workers in Colombia (where Coca-Cola houses its bottling plants).
Coca-Cola denied the accusations and after an International Labor Organization report, the school lifted the ban in Feb. 2009.
A 2009 poll of 132 students revealed that about half of them supported the ban, while the other half supported its repeal.
However, in a recent New York lawsuit, Guatemalan workers claim to have undergone a “campaign of violence” after participating in union activities.
In an effort to involve more students, the Law Students for Economic Justice has disseminated “NYUL Dump Diller, Dump Killer Coke” flyers throughout campus, and plans to screen a documentary of the company’s anti-union activities titled “The Coca-Cola Case.”
Douglas Miller, member of the group’s coalition effort, says that the group is not aiming to lessen Coca-Cola’s profits.
“What we're asking NYU students is to support an institutional choice, and not to actually try to harm Coke's market share, because NYU is an insignificant market to a company that big, but to reveal the truth behind the Coca-Cola image," he said.
Director of the national Stop Killer Coke campaign, Ray Roger, supports the students’ work.
"When [students and faculty at NYU] see Coca-Cola beverages there, they should think of crimes and misconduct so unthinkable that all of Coke's beverages become undrinkable," Rogers says.
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