By Shirley Irons,Street Hype, April 1-18, 2013
"By all accounts Yvette Butler, who worked at Coca-Cola’s production plant in New York City, had an exemplary record and did her job very well. She graduated from the College of Technology at the City University of New York (CUNY) and was highly qualified for her job as a production line mechanic. She was the only female African-American mechanic in the plant.For five years,
"Ms. Butler faced racial and gender discrimination, unfair and dangerous work assignments and sexual harassment from supervisors and co-workers…"
"Unless you are a Union member or a student of Union Activism, the name Ray Rogers may not ring a bell. However, if what he has to say about alleged racial discrimination, human rights and environmental abuses perpetrated by America’s Iconic brand, Coca-Cola, you will think of his name every time you hear or see one of their ubiquitous commercials.
"In today’s ’15 Minutes of Fact,’ Ray Rogers will make some very serious allegations of racial discrimination in Coca-Cola bottling plants in the Greater New York City area along with his concerns regarding Coca-Cola’s worldwide labor, human rights and environmental abuses.
"Sounds like a tough slog…for both parties…"
Radio Paul’s Radio Rants
Episode #22, Guest: Ray Rogers
Killer Coke vs. KillerCoke.org
November 26, 2012
Ray Rogers of killercoke.org explains how the Coca Cola Corporation not only has been rotting teeth but human rights. Both in the US and abroad Coke has been involved in some of the most egregious human rights abuses there are. Here is a list of just some of their abuses: Rape, murder, death squads, union busting, labor violations, environmental, racism and discrimination. Listen and hear about what Coke does in your name with the money you use to buy their products and learn what you can do to make real change.
Watch on YouTube
"Three Jamaicans Evon Douglas, 32,Oral Forbes, 40 and Wayne Morrison, 41, who worked at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Elmsford, New York are making similar accusations against The Coca-Cola Company as did sixteen Black and Hispanic workers who filed a racial discrimination lawsuit in January.
"The lawsuit alleges that the Coca-Cola plants in Elmsford and in Queens, New York are "Cesspools of racial discrimination." Workers with similar grievances who work at Coke facilities in Smithtown, New York and Carlstadt, New Jersey are also fighting back against the company for horrific injustices done to them because of their color and ethnicity."
Evon Douglas, 32, Oral Forbes, 40 and Wayne Morrison, 41:
Call Hosted by Esther Armah Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 6 am
A morning news magazine featuring in-depth coverage of local, national and international news, social and cultural issues and events. We bring voices and perspectives that are excluded from mainstream media. While the topics are serious and important, portions of the program are entertaining.
Will Nunez interviewed on Wakeup Call
Ramon Hernandez and Will Nunez of The Coke 16 on The News Dissector Radio Show with Danny Schechter May 25, 2012
This interview of Ramon Hernandez and Will Nunez of The Coke 16 is with Danny Schechter, The News Dissector. Danny is an Emmy award-winning journalist, television producer, independent filmmaker and veteran radio personality. His latest film is "Plunder: The Crime of Our Time," which is about the "unreported story of the economic crisis, which continues to haunt millions of Americans." For further information on Danny’s illustrious career, go to: http://prn.fm/hosts/political-hosts/danny-schechter
The radio interview was to originally include David Alvarez and Luis Morales, but they were unable to participate because they recently found employment outside of Coca-Cola.
Listen on YouTube
On the Docket — Worker’s Economic and Social Rights that Require OWS Attention
By Jerry Ashton | 15 Minutes of Fact | MAY 16, 2012
Podcast: Listen to MP3 is a series of interviews with people either directly involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement or people and causes which reflect the basic principles espoused by OWS – fairness and justice being at the top of that list.
Today’s guest will serve as an example of information that never reaches the media…or at least reported on poorly, if at all, and these are complaints by workers on workplace issues such as racial discrimination, safety, or unhealthy work environments.
Sandra Walker is a 46-year-old African-American single mom, homeowner and currently an employee of Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR), a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, and has been with CCR for over 13 years.
For the last 11 of these years, she has been subjected to racial discrimination and targeted by management for speaking out about injustices against other minority co-workers and her. In Sandra’s case, she cited as cause of discrimination, "race and retaliation."
Sandra Walker was one of 16 workers at two separate Coca-Cola plants who filed a lawsuit in January, 2012. The New York Daily News dubbed them the "Coca-Cola 16" for this effort. (Sandra had previously filed an EEOC complaint on 11/23/11 against America’s Iconic company).
The New York Daily News reported that "When she was hired as a merchandiser at the Maspeth plant, she felt like she ‘had hit Lotto’ because Coca-Cola was such a prestigious company.
Why she no longer feels that way are due to unpleasant experiences in which she was called names like "Nappy Head’ and ‘Aunt JaMamma;" one white worker showed up on the job wearing a Confederate flag on his head.
How could this not have been considered inflammatory and racial? And, what is it about the "internal" makeup of Coca-Cola that allows for this to happen while at the same time endless, cheery ads about their product roll across our TV screens?
This is not the first time or place that Coca-Cola has received negative press. On the website www.KillerCoke.org, the leadoff story is on allegedly murdered Union Leaders in Colombia and Guatemala, and cites abuses by Coca Cola in India, El Salvador, Turkey, Mexico and China and contains a trove of articles and reports that are unsavory at best and shocking at worst.
Is Sandra’s case unique? Isolated? Worth the attention of Occupiers? Listen, and you tell me.
More details on this story can be learned by writing email@example.com or me here on WGRNradio.com at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 718-852-2808.
The Coke 16 On Labor Forum with Dianne Mathiowetz WRFG Radio Atlanta, GA May 8, 2012
Interview of two members of The Coke 16, a group of African American and Hispanic workers from Coca Cola, who are involved in a racial discrimination law suit against the giant soft drink bottler.
Listen on YouTube
Coca-Cola Unit Sued for Alleged Racial Discrimination
The lawsuit charges that the 16 plaintiffs ‘have suffered from the worst of its ills in terms of biased work assignments and allotment of hours, unfair discipline and retaliation, and a caustic work environment.’
By Judy Greenwald | Workforce.com | March 20, 2012
David Alvarez et al. vs. Coca-Cola Refreshments USA Inc., which was filed in New York State Supreme Court in Queens on behalf of 16 current and former black and Hispanic workers, charges that an "endemic culture of racism" runs through the company’s management and supervisors at its New York bottling plans in Elmsford and Maspeth, New York. The suit was filed Jan. 3, but only publicized last week in the New York Daily News.
The lawsuit charges that the 16 plaintiffs "have suffered from the worst of its ills in terms of biased work assignments and allotment of hours, unfair discipline and retaliation, and a caustic work environment."
It says black and Hispanic workers "are typically assigned to the most undesirable and physically dangerous positions, and to tasks that are outside of their job descriptions.
"Meanwhile, the managers contravene the established seniority system by giving better jobs and more overtime hours to workers with less seniority than minority workers.
"As several of the plaintiffs have found, opportunities for advancement and promotion within the company are routinely biased against minority workers. Finally, the truck drivers among the plaintiffs have had their hours unfairly limited and prevented from working overtime, while white drivers do not have to face these problems," the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit also charged that plaintiffs who have complained have "faced swift retaliation from the white managers."
The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory, emotional, psychological and punitive damages, lost compensation, front and back pay, injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees and any other damages permitted by law.
Commenting on the lawsuit, plaintiffs attorney Steve A. Morelli of the Law Office of Steven A. Morelli P.C. in Garden City, New York, said Coca-Cola’s hostile work environment is "clearly something that needs to be addressed."
Coca-Cola issued a statement saying, "Where discrimination is alleged, we conduct a thorough investigation."
It said it appears one of the allegations in the lawsuit refers to an employee who was terminated five years ago, and "other allegations were addressed and resolved even longer ago. Contrary to the allegations in the lawsuit, our investigation has not uncovered a culture of workplace discrimination. In fact, many minority associates have come forward to strongly disavow the allegations of discrimination contained in the lawsuit."
"We have investigated, and will continue to investigate, all allegations of discrimination and harassment brought to our attention. We are confident that this matter will be resolved fairly and justly through the judicial system," Coca-Cola said in the statement.
Judy Greenwald writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email email@example.com.
Coca-Cola Plants Are “Cesspool of Racial Discrimination,” According to Lawsuit
By Shane Roberts | Frugivore Magazine | March 19, 2012
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.
Minority Workers Claim Discrimination in Coca-Cola Lawsuit
By NewsOne Staff | Mar 19, 2012 9
A total of sixteen Black and Hispanic employees at the Coca-Cola soft drink company have filed a lawsuit claiming that they have been forced to work under conditions that can be categorized as being "a cesspool of racial discrimination," reports the New York Daily News on Monday.
The Brooklyn Federal Court lawsuit which was filed against two of the company’s five production plants in Maspeth and Elmsford, New York, accuses the popular soft drink manufacturer of maintaining racially discriminatory and hostile environments.
Sondra Walker, a merchandiser at the Maspeth plant, is one the workers claiming that she was ridiculed in a derogatory manner. She told the New York Daily News that she was referred to as "nappy head and Aunt JaMamma" on the work floor without any disciplinary action taken against her verbal abuser.
Walker also reveals another incident where a White co-worker was tasked with cleaning out a sewer. The worker, who felt the assignment was a menial one better suited for a "n***er" was never reprimanded for his racially explosive and offensive choice of words.
The latest lawsuit is just one of a few that have been lodged against Coca-Cola over the years. An April 1999 lawsuit filed by Black employees accused the company of erecting a corporate hierarchy in which Black employees were clustered at the bottom of the pay scale, averaging $26,000 a year less than White workers. In November 2000, in the largest settlement ever in a racial discrimination case, the Coca-Cola Company agreed to fork over more than $192 million to resolve the federal lawsuit brought by those Black employees which implemented changes in the way that the company manages, promotes and treats Black employees in the U.S.
In regards to the most recent discrimination allegations mentioned in the lawsuit against Coca-Cola, spokesperson Toney Anaya told the New York Daily News that such racial biases are not tolerated by the manufacturer.
Workers Claim Local Coca Cola Plants Are Racist Cesspools
By Joseph Alexiou | Gothamist | March 18, 2012
Working in one of greater New York’s two Coca Cola plants may not be such a Sesame Street-esque utopia for minority employees: Sondra Walker, a Coca Cola merchandiser, claims she was referred to as "Nappy Head" and "Aunt JaMamma," while on the job, with no reprimands for the perpatrator. She also claims one white co-worker wore a Confederate flag on the job, and another responded "What am I, a n—– or something?" when assigned to clean a sewer.
Including Walker, 16 black and hispanic production are suing the Coca Cola for providing a racist "cesspool" of a working enviroment, rife with racial discrimination. The workers are all from two local plants, in Maspeth, Queens and Elmsford (in Westchester). A spokesman said the company takes the allegations seriously, and is currently investigating the incidents.
Although Coke claims excellent workplace diversity and have received commendation from some minority business publications, the Atlanta-based company doesn’t have a sparklingly clean record on discrimination: in 2010 Coke had to pay $495K in back wages, plus interest, to 95 black and hispanic job-seekers after a federal investigation showed a hiring bias against minority workers. As with this case, Coke denied any wrongdoing.
Contact the author of this article or email firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions, comments or tips.
Coke’s not it: 16 workers sue, call giant ‘cesspool’ of racial discrimination;
Say they were given lesser assignments, unfairly disciplined and retaliated against for complaining
By John Marzulli | New York Daily News | March 16, 2012
Sixteen black and Hispanic production workers are suing Coca-Cola, claiming they have been forced to work in a " cesspool of racial discrimination."
The suit, filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, accuses the company of relegating minorities to less favorable assignments, unfair disciplinary action and retaliation for complaining.<
"Coca-Cola circles its wagons and calls (the plaintiffs) ‘nuts’ and ‘ingrates,’ " said their lawyer, Steven Morelli.
Several plaintiffs say they were subjected to racial epithets, and the people who used them went unpunished, according to the complaint.
The suits are centered on two production plants — one in Maspeth, Queens, and another in Elmsford in Westchester.
Sondra Walker said that when she was hired as a merchandiser at the Maspeth plant, she felt like she "had hit Lotto" because Coca Cola is such a prestigious company.
"I’ve never been called so many names as I have been at Coca-Cola," Walker told the Daily News, citing "Nappy Head" and "Aunt JaMamma" as examples.
Walker describes in the complaint an incident when a white worker wore a Confederate flag on his head and another in which a white employee complaining about cleaning a sewer allegedly said: "What am I, a n—– or something?"
"I thought this was a fair and honest company, as American as apple pie," said plaintiff Guillermo Nunez, who says he has suffered emotionally because of the treatment. "I thought I had made it. It was my American Dream."
Coca-Cola spokesman Toney Anaya said the company does not tolerate discrimination in the workplace.
"We take this matter seriously and are investigating the allegations," Anaya said in a statement.