For years there has been debate in regards to health effects caused by popular carbonated beverages. The manufacturers of these drinks claim their products are perfectly safe for consumption. It should be kept in mind that history shows that many things we thought were once safe turn out later to be fairly deadly. While sugary soda might not be as unhealthy as some claim. Could the production of these beverages kill factory workers? It might if you are working in a foreign country and trying to unionize.
The Coca-Cola Case (2009) is a documentary that explores the business practices of that well known corporation. Violence has long been a part of efforts to unionize. History is full of examples showing workers trying to gain fair wages and working conditions being killed. For the most part the United States has moved past this. Workers in many other nations aren’t so lucky. Many still work long hours for very little pay in conditions that border on barbaric.
Most consumers have shown they could care less about worker conditions or where products get manufactured. Proof of that is very clear in this case. Even though Coca-Cola is accused of financing murders of union leaders / workers their sales haven’t been affected. Many people would claim to be outraged by these actions. But wouldn’t vote with their purchasing dollars. Coca-Cola is not alone when it comes to worker abuses. Unfortunately there are multiple companies that don’t believe in fair wages, decent hours and safe working environments.
What is taking place in many developing nations is exactly what took place in the United States decades ago. Corporate profit margins have always taken precedent over worker salaries and safe conditions. This is aggravated by consumers demand for lower prices. Companies are forced to move manufacturing to countries where workers will take less pay. The argument is made that even though these people work long hours for little money it’s better than what they had before.
In the United States there are still industries that make profit a priority over worker safety. Many of those workers have union representation. I would tend to bet that foreign Coca-Cola workers would trade places with their American counterparts in a second.
Sadly the majority of consumers could care less about how corporations act. They are just looking for the products they want at a price they feel is reasonable. It’s easy for people to look the other way when the problems aren’t in their backyard. Then again even when these issues are at their doorstep they still tend to care less.
We need your help to stop a gruesome cycle of murders, kidnappings and torture of SINALTRAINAL (National Union of Food Industry Workers) union leaders and organizers involved in daily life-and-death struggles at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia.
Coca-Cola bottlers “contracted with or otherwise directed paramilitary security forces that utilize extreme violence and murdered, tortured, unlawfully detained or otherwise silenced trade union leaders,” the lawsuit states.