We've been following this story for a couple of weeks, but some big news today: NYU has finally gone ahead and banned Coke from all campus vending machines! The company refused to allow an independent investigation into their labor practices in Colombia-- they had accused of partnering with bottling companies that kidnapped and killed union leaders. Apparently, the company came close to agreeing to the commission, but then backed off when it realized the information could be used in lawsuits in the United States. The Washington Square News continues their great series of reports:
Coca-Cola’s University Commission, which the company started this past summer with concerned universities that have contracts with the company, is close to establishing protocol for an investigation, but was delayed because of pending litigation concerns in a Miami district court, according to Potter’s letter, portions of which Tannenbaum read aloud at the final University Senate meeting of the semester yesterday.
One of the reasons Coca-Cola did not comply with NYU’s request was because the company wants to ensure that information that might come forward in an investigation would not be used against the company in its current lawsuit, Potter said in the letter. The letter also said that Coca-Cola asked for an inadmissibility agreement, but the plaintiffs in the case would not agree to it.
Good news for Coke-addicts: the University will not pull the existing Coca-Cola inventory from its shelves, because its already paid for. Instead, they'll let the inventory run-down: so now is the time to stock-up! After the supplies run out, the 80-100 Coke machines on campus will be replaced by generic ones that are stocked with beverages from a variety of companies. Maybe now is the perfect time for NYU to embrace healthier beverages-- we'd love to see a vending machine stocked with Fizzy Lizzy and Itoen Teas.