23 November 2009
Ms Brenda Lee
Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications
Coca-Cola Greater China
1702 Full Link Plaza
No. 18 Chaoyangmenwai Avenue
Ms Kathy Ho
Public Affairs and Communications Director
33/F, Dorset House, TaiKoo Place
979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay
Clarifications of Facts and Accepting Invitation for Meeting
Dear Ms Kathy Ho and Ms Brenda Lee,
Student and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) appreciates the commitment to comply with local labour laws and codes of conduct in the letters of response from Coca-Coca Greater China and Swire Beverages. However, the problem of the use of dispatch labour remains our concerns. According to the latest investigations of the Coke Concerned Student Group (Student Group), the use of dispatch labour and the working conditions still fall short of the legal standards.
Taking the invitation from Coca-Cola Greater China and Swire Beverages to have direct dialogue with SACOM and the Student Group in the letter dated 20 October 2009 and 28 October 2009 respectively, SACOM has communicated this idea with the Student Group. While accepting the invitation, the Student Group expressed grievances for the misleading statements blaming them for refusing to meet with Coca-Cola and Swire Beverages. According to the Student Group, they have never received any invitation from both companies for meeting. The only party which approached the group is the company which claimed itself commissioned by Coca-Cola for factory audit without giving supporting documents to show its identity. The company invited the Student Group to participate in the auditing and the group accepted the offer. Soon after that, the audit company broke the promise and declined the participation of students. Then, the audit company did not have reasonable explanation to the Student Group and only requested for an interview for a few minutes. Perceiving the lack of sincerity, the Student Group eventually rejected the interview.
Likewise, SACOM is also disappointed that Coca-Cola stated we refused to meet with Coca-Cola. Indeed, SACOM expressed our position that Coca-Cola should have dialogue with the Student Group which raised the issue of the unlawful use of dispatch labour. And SACOM would like to reiterate that Student Group and SACOM are two independent organizations. Therefore, SACOM did not think it is appropriate to meet Coca-Cola with the absence the Student Group.
SACOM is delighted to know that the Swire Beverages is planning to convert the dispatched workers who have been working in Coca-Cola facilities for over one year into permanent member. Both the Student Group and SACOM take this promise seriously and are interested to know the time frame and progress of the conversion plan. And Student Group and SACOM hope that the meeting can be arranged in December at Shanghai.
Looking forward to hearing from Coca-Cola and Swire Beverages for the arrangement of the meeting.
Student and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM)
Tel: (852) 2392 5464
Mobile: (852) 6756 8964
Coke Concerned Student Group（大学生关注可口可乐小组）
Mobile: (86) 13683132145
Coca-Cola’s letter to SACOM: Coca-Cola Complies with Labor Laws and Regulations in China (20 October 2009)
Swire Beverages’ letter to SACOM: Swire Beverages – An Open Letter to SACOM (28 October 2009)