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Coca-Cola Plants Are “Cesspool of Racial Discrimination,” According to Lawsuit

Coca-Cola Plants Are “Cesspool of Racial Discrimination,” According to Lawsuit
By Shane Roberts | Frugivore Magazine | March 19, 2012

Stop Coke Discrimination

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

Minority Workers Claim Discrimination in Coca-Cola Lawsuit
By NewsOne Staff | Mar 19, 2012 9

Stop Coke Discrimination

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

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 tips@gothamist.com with further questions, comments or tips.

Coke’s not it: 16 workers sue, call giant ‘cesspool’ of racial discrimination

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

Stop Coke Discrimination

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.

jmarzulli@nydailynews.com