Meet Oral Forbes – A Victim of Coca-Cola’s Discriminatory Employment Practices
Name: Oral Forbes
Year Born: 1972
Marital Status: Married with three children
Years of Service: ten years
Location of Facility: Elmsford, New York
Job Title: Forklift Operator
What Oral wants to say to Muhtar Kent:
I would like to tell Muhtar Kent if he has any dignity at all, knowing all the injustice The Coca-Cola Company has done to me and my family and co-workers, he will rectify the problem. We might not have seen everything that has gone on, or that is going on, but there is one that is greater than all who sees all and knows all and the truth will come.
My name is Oral Forbes, former employee of the Coca-Cola Company. I worked for this corporation for approximately 10 years as a forklift operator, but was fired in 2007 due to racial abuse and a physical altercation with a co-worker, which led to an unfair, biased arbitration hearing.
During my 10 years with the company, I had no disciplinary problems at all. In fact, I had lots of commendations for my work performance.
My co-worker constantly hurled racial slurs at me, which ultimately led to an attack on me by this individual. Fellow co-workers broke up the fight. Later, it was brought to my attention that the attacker had family members in distinct positions in the company. I went to the arbitration hearing in which I was misrepresented by a company lawyer. Further, the entire committee was comprised of the attacker’s family and friends. Eyewitnesses were threatened to change their original statements or suffer the loss of their jobs. The attacker was blamed for the altercation and sent to anger management. I, however, was terminated.
When you speak up for yourself, you are targeted as a troublemaker.
During this time, I had a house, two children and my wife. Due to the loss of my job, I lost my home, my car and everything and had to move my family to my in-laws’ home. I was unfairly treated and discriminated against. The hearing was completely biased and co-workers that witnessed everything were threatened.
I still am depressed and have lots of nightmares because of what Coke did to me, which was really, really an injustice.
Five months after my firing, I got a job that pays a lot less.