Background

Students and Scholars Against Cooperate Misbehaviour (SACOM) has been supporting the Coke Concerned Student Group in their campaign against the illegal and excessive use of dispatched workers at Coca-Cola in China. The Coke Concerned Student Group has published two reports on the abusive working conditions of Coca-Cola dispatched workers at designated bottlers in December 2008 and May 2009.Disappointedly, there is no responsible response from the Coca-Cola on the issue of dispatched worker since the two reports were released. Furthermore, SACOM is outraged by the irresponsive attitude of Coca-Cola in the aftermath of a student-worker, Xiao Liang, was assaulted. On 12 August, Xiao Liang, accompanied by another student worker, was punched by a senior staff of the Zhiqiang Company, a labour dispatch company provides workers to Hangzhou BC Foods Company Coca-Cola bottling plant, for demanding owed wage. After the incident, SACOM has been requesting Coca-Cola and Swire Beverages, which is the major shareholder (51%) of the Hangzhou BC Foods Company, to take responsibility and apologize for the violence which happened in Coca-Cola’s supply chain, and rectify the illegal use of labour dispatch service. Nevertheless, both companies refuse to take any pro-active action.

In support of the Coke Concerned Student Group, SACOM has lined up different labour concerned groups to press Coca-Cola in relation to the unlawful use of labour dispatch, for example, the Stop the Killer Coke Campaign, a global civil society organization that exposes systemic worker exploitations in the Coca-Cola system worldwide. Most recently, independent China Labour News Translation (CLNT) issued an action-oriented editorial article titled “Chinese students go undercover to investigate Coca Cola” on 16 September. Advocating for social and economic justice, the Business and Human Rights Resource Center has taken the initiative to communicate with the Coca-Cola Company and Swire Beverages with regard to the alleged labor abuses at the Hangzhou coke bottler in China. SACOM was informed by the Business and Human Rights Resource Center that Coca-Cola Greater China and Swire Beverages (on behalf of Swire Beverages China) have issued letters to the Center on 28 September and 29 September respectively.

Full text of the letter is available at http://sacom.hk/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/20091014-open-letter-to-coca-cola-and-swire-beverages.pdf.