The Haymarket affair happened in Chicago, IL in 1887, when workers striking for fair pay and 8 hour work day were met with gunshots and a bomb explosion. That day launched a global movement for workers’ rights around the world, and commemorated on what’s better known as May Day (International Worker’s Day). But we live in a world in which laborers in the US and in places like Indonesia are still fighting for those rights at the hands of corporations like PepsiCo and Indofood. Workers at Indofood, PepsiCo’s Indonesian partner, are subject to poverty wages, exposed to toxic chemicals and even children have to work. But PepsiCo continues to use Conflict Palm Oil a year after RAN and our partners exposed these rotten practices in a scathing report.
When we found out that Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, was scheduled to speak at the Beverage Forum in Chicago, a week before the PepsiCo shareholders meeting and May Day, we knew we had to bring the message that profiting off of child labor is never ok.
Labor and human rights activists deployed a banner in front of Indra Nooyi, while she accepted the conference’s lifetime achievement award, while others used an audio disruption of chainsaws and a demand for justice for plantation workers. This sent a powerful message to the crowd of conference goers and one they heard loud and clear.