AIDS Activists Protest Coke
In an attempt to pressure the Coca-Cola Corporation into doing more for AIDS infected workers in dozens of bottling plants in Africa, workers? rights and AIDS victims? advocates protested at company facilities across the U.S. and Africa yesterday. Although Coke provides full coverage for AIDS treatment to the 1,200 workers it directly employs in Africa, activists have insisted that the company has a responsibility to the 58,000 workers at forty independently owned bottling plants that produce much of Coke?s product. Coca-Cola last month began helping its bottlers to offer ninety-percent coverage for AIDS treatment to forty-five percent of their employees and most of their families, but the protestors point out that this leaves many at risk in countries where up to one in five workers have AIDS and few can afford even a tenth of the cost of treatment (see WIT for July 9, 2002).