Care for Some Blood in Your Coffee?

nestle has blood

“Nestlé workers in the Philippines under the United Filipino Employees-Drug Food and Allied Industries -Kilusang Mayo Uno (UFE-DFA-KMU) have been on strike since January 14, 2002 for their right to retirement benefits. To this day, Nestlé refuses to include the workers’ retirement benefits in the collective bargaining negotiation despite a Supreme Court ruling ordering them to negotiate. The strike has both directly and indirectly resulted in the deaths of 23 union members, including union president Diosdado Fortuna, who was assassinated on his way home from the picket line on September 22, 2005, his predecessor Meliton Roxas was also murdered and the current leadership continue to live in fear of their lives.”

Slideshow: Solidarity Protests Vs Nestle in Vienna, New Zealand

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Over three years ago we got a free ceramic coffee mug for every jar of Nescafe Classic we bought from the shops.  It was a nice promotional idea, very novel and rather fancy, we thought at first.  We didn’t know how much instant coffee we were consuming at the time, but the mugs started to pile up in our cupboard.  We ended up with far too many while the promo was running that eventually we started giving them away, sometimes to thankful shop employees who probably buy the cheaper range of coffee or coffee-tasting mixture (using chicory I think).

I thought that was the end of it.  Then we flew with our kids for the first time to my family in the Philippines.  They had had the same promotion running there.  Or so we thought.  There was a big difference.  The mugs were made of plastic.

I bet no one else knew about this double standard except their ad campaign managers.   It turns out they don’t just scrimp on their promotional materials when it comes to the “third world” (how I hate that term!).

About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. His latest book is BLOODRED DRAGONFLIES, published by Deep South in South Africa. Check out the official blog page for Bloodred Dragonflies. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. San Anselmo Publications released HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & OTHER POEMS in 2019 followed by CROCODILES IN BELFAST & OTHER POEMS in 2020 - both books can be purchased through their Facebook page. View all posts by matangmanok

6 responses to “Care for Some Blood in Your Coffee?

  • Melissa

    One day Jim there will be no borders, no classing of people, this I know

  • matangmanok

    Sure hope so, Missy. Hope so.

  • Jie-Shi

    Bro, stop drinking coffee – rather drink Rooibos. It’s better for you 🙂

  • Jeremy

    Hi Sir! I’m a stranger who knows this one’s a long shot, but still I wonder if, perhaps by any chance, you could help me with this certain poem I’m writing. I’m not really skilled at doing this, but suddenly I felt like giving my sophomoric attempt at poetry one more try. Salamuch!

  • matangmanok


    “Sir” is only for certain types of people — and as far as I know I haven’t been knighted or forced back into military service. 🙂

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