Minority Workers Claim Discrimination in Coca-Cola Lawsuit

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Coca-ColaA 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.

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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.

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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.

We take this matter seriously and are investigating the allegations,” Anaya said in a statement.

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