The Coca-Cola Company
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|==Brands & Subsidiaries==||==Brands & Subsidiaries==|
|+||*Some of the many brands: Andina, Appollinaris, Bistrone, BonAqua, Bright & Early, burn, buzz|
|+||*CAFÉ ZU, Canada Dry, Canning's, Cappy, Cepita, Chaudfontaine, Crush, Delaware Punch, Dr Pepper, Earth & Sky|
|+||*Far Coast, Fioravanti, Fresca, Fruitopia, Frutonic, Full Throttle, FUZE Healthy Infusions (Fuze), Gold Peak, Hi-C|
|+||*Ice Dew, Kinley, Limca, Mello Yello, Nordic Mist, Odwalla, Squirt, TaB (Tab) ... and many more in various countries.[http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/brands/brandlist.html]|
|* [http://www.bacardi.com Bacardi],||* [http://www.bacardi.com Bacardi],|
|* [http://Barqs.com Barq’s],||* [http://Barqs.com Barq’s],|
Revision as of 17:28, 26 November 2009
This company has areas of concern around Worker Rights, Human Rights, Political Influence, Environmental Issues, and Business Ethics.
The Coca-cola Company
1 Coca-Cola Plaza Atlanta GA USA
Public (NYSE: KO)
Coke is the world's largest soft-drink company. The Coca-Cola Company owns four of the top five soft-drink brands (Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, and Sprite). Among its other brands are Barq's, Fruitopia, Minute Maid, POWERade, and Dasani water. In the US it sells Group Danone's spring water brands (Dannon and Sparkletts). Coca-Cola sells Crush, Dr Pepper, and Schweppes outside Australia, Europe, and North America. The firm, which does no bottling, sells about 400 drink brands, including coffees, juices, sports drinks, and teas, in some 200 nations. In 2007 Coca-Cola purchased popular Arizona Iced Tea and Vitamin Water Producer Glaceau.
Severe Worker's and Human Rights Violations
Isidro Segundo Gil, an employee at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Colombia, was killed at his workplace by paramilitary thugs. His children, now living in hiding with relatives, understand all too well why their homeland is known as "a country where union work is like carrying a tombstone on your back."
A chilling description of Gil's assassination, based on eyewitness accounts, is the centerpiece of a lawsuit filed in Miami in July 2001 against Coca-Cola, Panamerican Beverages (the largest soft drink bottler in Latin America) and Bebidas y Alimentos (a bottler owned by Richard Kirby of Key Biscayne, Fla.) which operates the plant in which Gil was killed.
In the lawsuit, Gil's union, Sinaltrainal, the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) and the United Steelworkers of America assert that the Coke bottlers "contracted with or otherwise directed paramilitary security forces that utilized extreme violence and murdered, tortured, unlawfully detained or otherwise silenced trade union leaders."
Minutes after the thugs showed up at the Carepa plant gate, they fired 10 shots at Gil, a member of the union executive board, mortally wounding him. An hour later, another union leader was kidnapped at his home. That evening, a building that housed the union's offices, equipment and records was set ablaze.
The next day, a heavily armed group returned to the plant, called the workers together and told them if they didn't quit the union by 4 p.m., they, too, would be killed. Resignation forms were prepared in advance by Coca-Cola's plant manager, who had a history of socializing with the paramilitaries and had earlier "given (them) an order to carry out the task of destroying the union," the lawsuit says.
Fearing for their lives, union members at Carepa resigned en masse and fled the area. The company broke off contract negotiations, the paramilitaries camped outside the plant gate for the next two months, and the union was crushed. Experienced workers who made about $380 a month were replaced by new hires earning minimum wage ($130 a month).
No charges were ever filed against Gil's killers or those who killed at least seven other Coca-Cola unionists (see box below). Like many multinational corporations, Coke tries to have it both ways: tightly controlling the manufacture and distribution of its products overseas and collecting the profits, but denying any responsibility to workers. But the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1789, may hold the key to securing justice for foreign victims of corporate abuses.
Several companies now being sued under the ATCA claim to adhere to one or more "voluntary" initiatives (like Coca-Cola's so-called Code of Conduct) that commit them to respect human rights abroad. Unfortunately, enforcement has proven impossible.
In essence, the ATCA permits foreigners to sue in U.S. courts for violations of fundamental human rights that are clearly defined under international law. It applies to "the law of nations," which federal courts have interpreted to cover genocide, war crimes, extrajudicial killings, torture, unlawful detention and crimes against humanity.
Recently, the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce, representing thousands of companies worldwide, urged the U.S. government to stop the growing use of the ATCA to sue multinationals. It's "unacceptable," they said.
"It shocks the conscience that these companies seek to immunize themselves from charges of human rights violations," says ILRF attorney Terry Collingsworth.
Javier Correa, president of Sinaltrainal, adds: "We want justice. We want people to know the truth about what is going on in Colombia against Coke workers. Now that you know, will you please help us?"
Listed below are union leaders at Coca-Cola's Colombian bottling plants who have been murdered. Hundreds of other Coke workers have been tortured, kidnapped and/or illegally detained by violent paramilitaries, often working closely with plant managements.
|4/8/94||Jose Elaseasar MancoDavid||Carepa|
|4/20/94||Luis Enrique Giraldo Arango||Carepa|
|4/23/95||Luis Enrique Gomez Garado||Carepa|
|12/5/96||Isidro Segundo Gil||Carepa|
|12/26/96||Jose Librado Herrera Osorio||Carepa|
|6/21/2001||Oscar Dario Soto Polo||Monteria|
|8/31/2002||Adolfo de Jesus Munera Lopez||Baranquilla|
- 6/18/04: Teamsters Fight to Protect Healthcare at Coca-Colas Biggest Bottler: "Teamsters demonstrated unity to protect employee healthcare at Coca-Cola Enterprises today in locations across the country. Distribution and production workers protested the company’s attempts to cut benefits and dramatically raise the workers’ share of healthcare costs, an issue that is reaching fever pitch in San Diego and elsewhere and could spark work stoppages."
- 4/7/04: In Colombia, Workers Starve For Justice: "Coca-Cola has a terrible record as an employer in Colombia. Of the 100,000 workers employed, around 80% are contractors, earning an average of $120 a month. These are starvation wages. And contracting out has been the company's policy in other parts of the world as well - including the US."
- 3/5/04: In These Times: Coke's Killers: "Coca-Cola representatives told a fact-finding delegation that its employees may have collaborated with paramilitaries in the deaths and torture of Colombian union members."
- 8/17/02: AIDS Activists Mobilize Against Coca-Cola: "AIDS activists are preparing rallies and demonstrations Thursday in several cities around the world to protest against global soft-drink giant Coca-Cola, which they charge must do more to help and treat its HIV-infected workers and their families in sub-Saharan Africa.
- 5/14/02: Hoffa tells Coke: Protect Your Workers: "James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President, on Tuesday told Douglas N. Daft, Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) Chief Executive Officer, to protect workers who produce, bottle and distribute Coca-Cola products – including those in Guatemala where eight union leaders were assassinated in the late 1970s."
- 7/19/01: Coke to Be Sued For Human Rights Abuses In Colombia: "The United Steel Workers Union and the International Labor Rights Fund will file suit tomorrow, July 20, in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami) against Coke and Panamerican Beverages, Inc., the primary bottler of Coke products in Latin America. Additional defendants include owners of a bottling plant in Colombia where trade union leaders have been murdered."
Severe Environmental Concerns
There have been incidents of water contamination by Coca-Cola plants and the use of unclean and unsafe water in their own products.
- 2/6/04: India: Findings on Cola Companies Expose Need for Food Standings: "New Delhi - The affirmation by an Indian parliamentary committee of the findings by an environmental group - that beverage giants Coca -Cola and Pepsi Cola have been using pesticide-contaminated water -- underscores the need for independent food standards in the country."
- 1/17/04: Coke With Yet Another New Twist: Toxic Cola: "The Indian parliament has banned the sale of Coke and Pepsi products in its cafeteria. The ban came as the result of tests, including those by the Indian government, which found high concentrations of pesticides and insecticides, including lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos, in the colas, making them unfit for consumption.
- 7/10/03: Water Contamination by Coke In Kerala: "People's wrath against the Coca-Cola unit is also on account of the worsening water quality in the village. Independent studies have found that the water left in a few open wells in the neighborhood of the plant contain high amounts of chlorides and total dissolved solids. The chloride content in the water was 540 mg/l in the samples collected by Jananeethi in July 2002, against the desirable standard of 250 mg/l for drinking water..."
- 7/10/03: Communities Reject Coca-Cola in India: "Coca-Cola is in trouble in India. Ever since the first allegations arose in Kerala, India, of water scarcity and polluted water resulting from its bottling operations, Coca-Cola's public relations department has churned out denials, insisting that the charges are false and that it is the "target of a handful of extremist protesters."
- 7/10/03: Coke in Varanasi: Facing Local Ire: "After sustained protests against Coca-Cola, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has directed its Regional Officer in Uttar Pradesh to enquire and take action on the pollution caused by Bharat Coca-Cola Bottling North East Private Limited -- an Indian arm of Coca-Cola -- in Mehdiganj, Uttar Pradesh, 260 km from the holy city of Varanasi."
- 7/10/03: Coca-Cola: Continuing the Battle in Kerala: "On April 7, the 15-member Panchayat board decided not to renew the industrial license issued to the Coca-Cola factory on the ground of "protecting public interest," as the company was "causing shortage of drinking water in the area through over-exploitation of ground water sources."
- 9/26/02: The Lacandon Jungle's Last Stand Against Corporate Globalization: "A battle is raging in Chiapas' Montes Azules Integral Biosphere, Mexico's Garden of Eden. The last stand against corporate resource exploitation is taking place in this remote, lush tropical jungle, home to Mayan communities. Best known for ancient pyramids and endangered species like the toucan and jaguar, this modern day "El Dorado" is now threatened by the search for black and green gold: oil and biodiversity."
Excessive Political Influence and Litigation
Information regarding Campaign Contributions, Lobbying activity & Government Contracts for Coca Cola Enterprises Inc., the largest bottler and distributor of soft drinks for the Coca-Cola Co.
reprinted from The Center for Public Integrity
|Republican Party Committees||$491,000|
|Sen Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)||$46,720|
|Rep Johnny Isakson (R-GA)||$38,500|
|President George W Bush (R)||$36,800|
|Rep Steny H Hoyer (D-MD)||$24,500|
|Rep Roy Blunt (R-MO)||$19,000|
|Rep J Dennis Hastert (R-IL)||$18,500|
|Rep John A Boehner (R-OH)||$17,500|
|Sen William H Frist (R-TN)||$15,000|
|Sen Norm Coleman (R-MN)||$13,500|
|Sen Blanche L Lincoln (D-AR)||$11,000|
|Rep John R Lewis (D-GA)||$10,200|
|Sen Chuck Hagel (R-NE)||$10,000|
|Sen Don Nickles (R-OK)||$10,000|
|Rep David Dreier (R-CA)||$9,250|
|Rep Richard A Gephardt (D-MO)||$9,000|
|Democratic Party Committees||$8,850|
|Rep John Linder (R-GA)||$8,500|
|Sen Paul Coverdell (R-GA)||$8,500|
|Rep David Scott (D-GA)||$8,000|
Defense Contracts Received from the Pentagon
Contracts Won by Major Subsidaries/Divisions (totals in millions)
|Coca-Cola Bottling of Los Angeles||$36.25||$7.24||$7.07||$5.38||$10.51||$3.06||$2.99|
|Florida Coca-Cola Bottling||$12.33||$2.86||$2.58||$2.02||$1.59||$1.79||$1.49|
What the Pentagon bought from Coke
|Food and Beverages||$130,665,525|
Competition: How They Won the Contracts
The Pentagon defines several different "solicitation procedures" that roughly indicate the level of competition in awarding contracts. Full and open competition generally indicates that the contracts went out to competitive bid. Not full and open generally don't go out to bid – the pie chart below shows the reasons why. Set-aside contracts are competitive, but only certified small businesses can bid on them. Most of the contracts with no information were awarded on the "federal schedule." Contractors pre-qualify to supply specific goods and services, and federal employees can order them without going through the bidding process.
Even when a contract is put out to bid, the number of bidders responding may vary widely. In 10 percent of Pentagon contracts from 1998-2003, only one bidder responded. In many other contracts, only two firms compete. This ratio varies widely by industry; highly-specialized items like warplanes and aircraft carriers may have only one or two bidders, while construction jobs, for instance, may have dozens.
About two-thirds of contracts awarded without going through the bidding process are given because there's only a single source for the product or service. Other reasons include international agreements, urgency, national security, public interest. Contracts "authorized by statute" were approved by Congress, generally as provisions giving preference to minority-owned businesses and the like.
This table shows how many contract dollars were classified as going to a small business or small disadvantaged business (minority-owed, etc.). Set-aside contracts are reserved for small businesses; large companies cannot compete for them. Under guidelines set by Congress, federal agencies are supposed to direct 23 percent of their outside contracts to small companies.
Small Business and Other Preferences
| ||Contracts||% of Total|
|Small Business Total||$8,570,503||6.55%|
- 9/26/02: The Lacandon Jungle's Last Stand Against Corporate Globalization: "A battle is raging in Chiapas' Montes Azules Integral Biosphere, Mexico's Garden of Eden. The last stand against corporate resource exploitation is taking place in this remote, lush tropical jungle, home to Mayan communities. Best known for ancient pyramids and endangered species like the toucan and jaguar, this modern day "El Dorado" is now threatened by the search for black and green gold: oil and biodiversity." (see also Environmental Concerns)
- 5/10/01: Coca Cola Breaks Ranks on Climate Change: "In a letter to Greenpeace yesterday, Coca Cola Spain stated that it fully backed the European governments support for the international climate change agreement the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement US President Bush rejected six weeks ago today."
- 2005 - Ranked in the "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" by Diversity Inc. Source It was also ranked in the top 10 for:
- diversity recruitment and retention
Brands & Subsidiaries
- Some of the many brands: Andina, Appollinaris, Bistrone, BonAqua, Bright & Early, burn, buzz
- CAFÉ ZU, Canada Dry, Canning's, Cappy, Cepita, Chaudfontaine, Crush, Delaware Punch, Dr Pepper, Earth & Sky
- Far Coast, Fioravanti, Fresca, Fruitopia, Frutonic, Full Throttle, FUZE Healthy Infusions (Fuze), Gold Peak, Hi-C
- Ice Dew, Kinley, Limca, Mello Yello, Nordic Mist, Odwalla, Squirt, TaB (Tab) ... and many more in various countries.
- Canada Dry,
- Minute Maid,