I recently came across this article on twitter about AFT banning coca-cola products…..I’m sorry what?
Earlier this month, the American Federation of Teachers decided to ban Coca-Cola and Coke products from its events and facilities. In their never-ending search for groups and companies to demonize, AFT has opted to score cheap political points with their base, instead of turning to a company that is a natural ally and working toward a common purpose.
The teachers union – America’s second largest – is basing this new ban on allegations of human rights violations that were described in a trio of books published nearly a decade ago. AFT has opted to focus on these outdated accusations to create media buzz and promote its own self interests instead of looking at the facts and nurturing a relationship with a company with common interests.
Signs of the common purpose between AFT and Coca-Cola are everywhere. Just look at where the union has spent its money and you will also see significant spending from – you guessed it – Coca-Cola. Among them are the Clinton Global Initiative, the Center for American Progress, and numerous political candidates.
This sounds to me like AFT is continuing to create disarray with those who it should be teamed up with AND creating unnecessary attention for the sake of….getting attention – while not helping to advance the causes of education. Like that time they created an entire media campaign around a magazine cover that really didn’t have anything to do with advancing education?
Here is Coca-Cola’s rather eloquent response (maybe AFT could learn some PR lessons from Coca-cola):
We have a great deal of respect for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), its leadership and its work. I have known and worked with them for many years, and I believe their leadership is as committed to their mission as we are to ours.
The AFT resolution pertaining to our company is based on outdated and erroneous allegations that we have repeatedly addressed. So we have initiated a dialogue with their leadership to discuss this resolution. We look forward to continuing that engagement to share the facts about our work and our commitment to respect human rights.
We will reiterate to them our aspiration to be one of the most inclusive companies in the world, where rights are respected and employees are valued. This aspiration is anchored by our foundation of policies, including our Human Rights Policy, Supplier Guiding Principles, and Code of Business Conduct. These policies are designed to ensure both our company and our suppliers meet our high workplace and human rights standards. … (click the link above for the whole response)
…When we meet with AFT leadership, we also will share information about our commitment to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which we formally endorsed in 2011, and the work we have done to incorporate these principles into our existing human rights and workplace rights efforts across our entire value chain.
We look forward to further engagement with AFT leadership and continuing to build our valued relationship.
And, tell me again how boycotting coca-cola is helping teachers, or kids?