Friday, March 16, 2007

Students say no to Coca-Cola at Manchester University Students’ Union

Students say no to Coca-Cola at Manchester University Students’ Union
by Natalie Parkinson
March, 16, 2007

COKE will be in very short supply at University of Manchester Students’ Union (UMSU) after their AGM passed a motion banning it in their shops and bars.

Four hundred votes for the motion to twenty against means students will now be forced to drink another cola at nights out in their students’ union.

Cardiff University students attempted to pass a similar boycott of Coca-Cola last year and attempted to mandate the NUS’S bulk buying arm, to end contracts with Coca Cola. But the motion fell at the annual conference.

However, Manchester’s ban goes much further by resolving “to replace Coke products on sale in all students’ union outlets with Virgin Cola or a suitable alternative”.

The motion at Manchester was proposed as a result of accusations towards the multinational company of violating workers’ human rights and environmental welfare in Columbia, India and Turkey.

The company has also been accused of siphoning water from rivers in India for its factories, causing farmers to struggle without irrigation resources.

The ban comes as campaigners in the UK are trying to remove Coke products from university campuses using the internet to gain support; universities like Oxford, Edinburgh, Bristol, Bradford, Middlesex and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) have already passed motions boycotting or banning the drink.