Whatever happened to having “a Coke and a smile.” Well apparently those days are over at a couple of Coca-Cola regional offices in New York. Black and Hispanic employees of the Queens, N.Y. and Elmsford, N.Y. locations have filed suit against the multi-national corporation, citing that their work environments are a “cesspool of racial discrimination.”
Complaints of this nature, which was filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, will be hard to prove considering most people racially fatigued in “post-racial” America. No one wants to hear from you complaining blacks and Mexicans (you know every Hispanic is Mexican in “post-racial” America).
Relegating minorities to unfavorable assignments, accusing superiors of unfair disciplinary and retaliatory actions against workers — all of which are more than likely true — sadly, will fall upon the deaf ears of our corporate-biased judicial system, which honors corporate personhood over subjective accounts of worker abuse.
If the Supreme Court threw out a multi-ethnic, multi race class action suit filed on behalf the discriminated female employees of retail giant Wal-Mart, issuing a ruling that basically informed the female plaintiffs they would have to sue the multi-billion dollar corporation individually, where do you honestly see this lawsuit going?
According to statement released by the lawyer for the 16 plaintiffs, Steven Morelli, Coca-Cola claimed the employees were “nuts” and “ingrates.” This alleged “ingrate” comment runs in stark contrast to one of the plaintiffs, Sondra Walker, who was quoted as saying the Coco-Cola job was akin to winning the lotto.
But I’m sure not too many minority lotto winners are accustomed to hearing themselves referred to as “Nappy Head” or “Aunt JaMamma,” well at least not directly to their face.
“I’ve never been called so many names as I have been at Coca-Cola,” Walker told the Daily News.
In a statement, Coca-Cola spokesman Toney Anaya said, “We take this matter seriously and are investigating the allegations.” The company, she said, doesn’t tolerate workplace discrimination.
This is not the first time Coca-Cola has been accused of racial discrimination. Here are two cases that Coke had to settle:
Ingram vs. The Coca-Cola Co.
Coca-Cola to pay $495K on discrimination claims
Greetings all, I personally know what is going on in this case and I understand that there isn’t much in the article as to the details or specifics on this case. Many statements and evidences will come out in the legal process, so for now I will give you enough to understand what is going on and how serious it is. Understand that the people involved in this case are decent hard working individuals that have different walks of life, the one common ground that they is that they are hardworking people that are being discriminated against by the same company, Coca Cola. Although some have may similar upbringings these men and woman are from different backgrounds, the thing that they do share is the fact that they are not white; they are referred to as minorities because of the color and/or ethnicity. Coca Cola’s business practices has gradually gone from bad to worse, there are many documents and even documentaries (on youtube) that accurately expose this fact, the proofs are irrefutable, and it seems that this is a standard that’s not limited by region; this is definitely a global practice. In this particular case, we have a group of individuals that work in different locations, some work together in the same facilities, some even work in different states, yet all are experiencing the same discrimination. We’re not talking about people who are trouble makers looking for an ‘easy way out’(as some would suppose), we’re talking about people who have been working at Coca Cola for 10yrs, 15yrs, even 20yrs; people who have suffered mental and emotional damage because of the abuse experienced at Coca Cola. All have taken the proper steps to address the problems that they’ve faced, but all met with the same results, retaliation and intimidation, and many were targeted and fired simply because they stood up for themselves. All of the people in this case followed the proper procedures with respect for the ‘chain of command’ and the company’s version of ‘due process’, meaning trusting in the Human Resources and Employee Relations administrations to FAIRLY investigate complaints and take proper actions, but these administrations, rather than protect the employees that made complaints, they exposed the plaintiffs and covered up wrong doings by management, even though they knew that it was wrong. They botched up investigations; they taught management how to continue doing wrong and get away with it. With all of that going on and Coca Cola constantly getting away with it, Coca Cola management has gotten exaggeratedly worst, they have become an out of control monster, this is why they are able to blatantly discriminate to the point of being ridiculously obvious. The sad thing about this is that the “The Coke 16” and others, have tried many times in vain to solve this problem in house, the ball was in Coca Cola’s court and Coca Cola decided to let it get this far rather than do what is righteous and fair. What is really sad is that people out there making judgments have absolutely no idea of the severity of this matter, and what surprises me even more is that people are so quick to defend the abusive aggressors, it is the people who allow and defend this atrocious act that enable these things happen, WRONG IS WRONG regardless who is doing it, if people want true justice then people will have to stop cheerleading the wrong doings of these big bullies, the fact that Coca Cola is a big and wealthy corporate giant does not give them the right to abuse and disrespect the people who work for them! I ask everyone to join the Coke 16 movement and boycott Coca Cola products, boycott chain restaurants that serve Coca Cola like McDonalds, Burger King, Domino’s pizza, etc. Check out these websites – TheCoke16.com , and KillerCoke.org .
I worked for CCE for 16 years. I lost my job due to a territory aquisition and a subsequent merger thus several positions such as mine became duplicate and I gladly left in 2005. I think I even had a smile on my face when I cleaned out my desk. I hired and worked with several minorities. Like all employees some were good. Some were not. There was no discernable difference in perfomance over races. What I can tell you is that the work at Coca-Cola is “old school”. It’s hard. There is a lot of stoop labor. What makes it tough to leave is that they offer both a pension and a 401k plan. I kept both as I had more than 5 years there. It’s a lot like the work at say UPS or Fed-ex but the packages are heavier and the shifts can last 12 hours or more with few breaks as there are serious time constraints in getting the work done. I did witness 5 racial slurs amongst my employees in those 16 years. 3 by white men. 2 by black men. There was no real path towards dealing with racial eptitets (spelling?) put in place by Coca Cola. That made it tough. I had to rely on my christian up-bringing to try and settle these high spirited and charged situations on my own. Let me hear a shout out if you have ever felt or been in the following catch 22. You wanted to dicipline an outstanding employee for doing something stupid but you feared termination would be eminent. Coca-Cola is absolutely HORRIBLE at replacing personel. If someone left or was fired my boss would not want me to replace them even though my department was on budget but others were not and he needed to spread the pain. I resent that to this day. So you have managers and supervisors willing to overlook a terminal situation. That is wrong on so many levels. I was already working 60 hours a week and was not willing to work 70 hours just to cover some other duetch in another department. Upper management is made up of mostly ex-jocks. Guys that were athletes but did so-so to poorly in college. They readily tolerate negative reinforcement like some sort of towel slapping/hazing game that jocks do in a locker room. I witnessed mockery directed at all races. Mostly at the lower level workers in general. Coca Cola is a great product and has many great products. Childish boycotting ideas such as “Gina” suggests is a stupid waste of time. It will do nothing! NOTHING! Coca Cola, like many others, have an HR department that is way too small to handle 55,000 emoloyees. Coke should be pushed to expand HR departments. I had no one to turn to for assistance. I feel for these 16 people but they are by no means the only people that have suffered at the hands of poor management. The New York plants are all union so again it would be tough to fire offenders of racial charges so the managers and supervisors don’t even bother. The business is tough, the environment is tough, the management is tough and the jobs are tough. Tossing around a frivelous law-suit will do nothing until managers are willing to unilatterally support the immediate replacement of terminated workers. They also need to force the unions to accept that these actions require immediate termination too.
nigeltufnel, how right you are. I work at one of these plants, people talk about ALL race/religion/etnics,some talk bad ,some do not…..so….do your job, take your pay…..and go home.