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Meet Freddy Estrada – A Victim of Coca-Cola’s Discriminatory Employment Practices

Name: Freddy Estrada
Year Born: 1976
Marital Status: Divorced with three children
Years of Service: Seven years
Location of Facility: Carlstad, N.J.
Job Title: Order builder

What Freddy wants to say to Muhtar Kent:

How can you allow management to racially discriminate against minorities? Why do you treat us differently? Why do you make false allegations against employees and destroy their lives by preventing them from getting unemployment and another job?

Personal Statement:

I started to work for Coca-Cola in Carlstad, NJ, in May 2005. I was 28 when that happened. My life changed. I was so glad to work for a big company thinking that life will be better for my family and for myself.

Later on everything started to change. I was harassed by a supervisor. I wrote some grievances on him, and that’s when my nightmare started. Other managers and supervisors started to attack me and retaliate against me.

I used to be so happy with my daughters and wife till I became so angry. My attitude changed due to the stress on me and the nightmares I was having — I would not wish this for anybody who has been a victim of racial discrimination and harassment and retaliation. It’s not a joke!

It affects you and your family. I’m not married anymore. I’m going through a divorce. I don’t see my kids like I used to, thanks to Coca-Cola that destroyed my life and my family,

I used to be on a doctor’s prescription for my stress and nightmares till today. I suffer from insomnia and can’t sleep more then four hours a day, I filed a case with the EEOC in Newark, NJ.

I got fired from work accused of stealing my file and a file of a co-worker. A fuzzy and chopped up audio recording that supposedly proved that I did it was played for me. I was falsely accused of breaking into the manager’s office. I assured them that I did no such thing, that I have no access to that office and there are cameras positioned right outside of the office. I suggested that they view the camera’s footage and bring my accusers, so that I could easily prove my innocence. The managers refused to hear me out, and terminated me anyway.

I knew that this was just a set up fueled by retaliation, and that they really didn’t have anything valid. I have been unsuccessful at collecting unemployment. Coca-Cola has lied to the unemployment offices.

They fired me and I believe that they did it because the complaints that I made to the state of NJ against Coca-Cola for racial discrimination, retaliation and harassment. But it is not over yet because I’m fighting to get my job back.

This is a true story about myself with the company and the whole world should know about what happens inside Coca-Cola and the way they treat their employees. We are human beings with rights like anybody else and I believe in justice like I believe in God.

Update:

On June 1, Mr. Estrada received a notice from the unemployment office stating that his unemployment application was denied because he was discharged in May "for the theft of personnel files including your own. You then attempted to sell back a co-workers file to him, which may be extortion. Your actions constitute severe misconduct connected to the work. You are disqualified for benefits."

A colleague inside the plant contacted Mr. Estrada notifying him that his file was found in the plant, but the Company has not contacted him since he was really fired for fighting back against the discriminatory practices at the plant.