Excerpt: Boycotting Big Beer - Why We Should All Shun Union-Busting Beer Companies
By BENJAMIN DANGL
Over the years the Coors family has contributed handsomely to plenty of conservative projects and organizations. Reading about their family’s philanthropy is like reading a history of the right wing in America.
Joseph Coors was an advisor to Ronald Reagan, provided the founding grant to the infamous Heritage Foundation as well as the right wing Free Congress Foundation, which asks the following question on its website:
Joseph Coors really put his money where his right wing heart was when he donated a $65,000 plane to the Contras in the covert US war against the Nicaraguan Sandinistas in the 1980s. It’s high time to raise a glass of non-Coors beer in solidarity with the Sandinistas. But here’s another reason to boycott America’s most successful brewing company; their union busting.
In 1977, in Colorado, home to the company’s brewery, Coors hired scabs to replace workers on strike at the plant. Jeff Coors, the president of the family company at the time, told the Los Angeles Times that he wouldn’t back down because agreeing to union demands was like “inviting the Russians in to take over America.”
But the family’s repression of workers’ rights didn’t stop there. Annika Carlson writing about the Coors’ legacy at Campus Progress, says,
In 2004, when Peter Coors, the chairman of the Coors Brewing Company ran for Senate as a Republican from Colorado, local union leaders were quick to criticize the company’s poor labor relations. Steve Adams, the president of the Colorado AFL-CIO at the time, told USA Today,
You can show that drinking is a very political act by turning your back on the big breweries. Or, as Carlson says about Coors,
Benjamin Dangl is currently based in Paraguay and is the author of "The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia" (AK Press). He edits UpsideDownWorld.org, a website on activism and politics in Latin America, and TowardFreedom.com, a progressive perspective on world events. Email: Bendangl(at)gmail(dot)com.