Refreshing Pauses: Coca-Cola and Human Rights in Guatemala

By Henry J. Frundt | Go to book overview

8
Boycott!

On November 28, 1979, William Pruett, vice-president of corporate affairs for Coca-Cola, wrote to the IUF: "Our investigation produced no evidence that management of the bottling company is responsible for violence against its employees."1 "This was a very bad move," recalled Laurent Enckell, IUF staff representative for North America. "Already we had begun to publicize the issue and some of our affiliates were pressuring us to do something, particularly those from our Latin American Conference." As Gallin had said, "In spite of the fact that the IUF and Amnesty International have confirmed at first hand the reports of intimidation, threats and murder of trade union organizers in the Coca-Cola bottling plant . . . the parent company can only be viewed as implicitly condoning the consistent violations of workers."2 The International Hotel, and Restaurant, and Catering Workers Conference delegates agreed nothing would change until they confronted the entire company.

Since Gallin had become general secretary, IUF affiliates had improved in their ability to take on corporations, including W. R. Grace, Oetker, International Sleeping Car, British- American Tobacco, Unilever, and Nestlé, which first experienced IUF action in 1964. The secretariat had established a permanent Nestlé World Council, which sent a delegation to company headquarters to discuss job security and employee rights. Nestlé agreed to intervene if local managers violated general employee policy (see Northrup and Rowan 1974). A test of the IUF-Nestlé relationship occurred in Peru in 1973, when Nestlé-Perulac employees at Chiclayo and Cajamarca struck in sympathy with a factory strike in Lima. The main strike was

-105-

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Refreshing Pauses: Coca-Cola and Human Rights in Guatemala
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 - The Lockout/Strike 1
  • 2 - Subdivision 17
  • 3 - The Church Takes Stock 28
  • 4 - First Settlement 42
  • 5 - Repression 56
  • 6 - The Corporate Forum 72
  • 7 91
  • 8 - Boycott! 105
  • 9 - The Spring Offensive 123
  • 10 - Negotiations Begin 135
  • 11 - Abduction 153
  • 12 - A Contract! 163
  • 13 - An Oasis Runs Dry 173
  • 14 - Occupation 187
  • 15 - The Third Campaign 200
  • 16 - Echoes of Victory 213
  • Concluding Reflections 222
  • Notes 233
  • Bibliography 245
  • Index 262
  • About the Author 269
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