Statement Regarding IBM, GM, and Coca-Cola
by Students Against Apartheid
Seattle, Washington, United States
Undated, about early September 1987
The statement includes the resolution on divestment passed by the University of Washington Board of Trustees. The key phrase is "operating in South Africa"; if a company sells off its assets in South Africa but continues to have its products manufactured and marketed there under franchise and licensing agreements, is it "operating in South Africa"? International Business Machines (IBM), General Motors (GM), and Coca-Cola have all announced limited pullouts; Students Against Apartheid maintains that they are in fact still operating in South Africa. The report discusses each of these companies in turn. It says GM's Black South African workers received less favorable treatment after GM’s sale. in October 1986, prior to the sale, they struck to protest the loss of pensions, seniority and job security that would take place under the transfer; GM responded by firing 567 employees and calling in the police with dogs and whips to disperse them. Coca-Cola closed its syrup producing plant and sold the remaining bottling plants to South African interests. Students Against Apartheid concludes with a moral appeal for divestment; oppression in South Africa continues unabated and the State of Emergency has been extended for a second year. The statement mentions the Consolidated Endowment Fund, Information Services Management (ISM), computers, Black South Africans, the military, Delta Motor Corporation, GM trucks and automobiles, GM-supplied standards and designs, the Sullivan Principles, IRRC, symbolic divestment, guidelines for divestment, management agreements, the Lusaka Statement, churches, trade unions, anti-apartheid groups, the Program to Combat Racism of the World Council of Churches, banks, trading institutions, doing business with South Africa and Namibia, Rev. Leon Sullivan, detained without charge, and democracy.
Used by permission of former members of the Seattle Labor Committee Against Apartheid.
Collection: Seattle Labor Committee Against Apartheid, Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections