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.