Sixteen black and Hispanic Coca-Cola workers filed a lawsuit against the soda giant claiming they worked in a racist environment, according to the Daily News.
The workers called the environment a “cesspool of racial discrimination.” The lawsuit, which was filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, accuses Coca-Cola of relegating minorities to unfavorable assignments and subjecting them to unfair disciplinary action and retaliation for complaining.
The lawsuit concerns two of the company’s production plants — one in Queens, N.Y., and another in Elmsford, N.Y.
The lawyer for the 16 plaintiffs, Steven Morelli, told the Daily News that Coca-Cola described the plaintiffs as “nuts” and “ingrates.” He also said that some plaintiffs claimed that they were called racial epithets, and the offenders were not punished.
One of the workers, Sondra Walker, said that when she landed the job she felt like she had won the lotto. But she found that the company she called prestigious is one that practiced racism almost on a daily basis.
“I’ve never been called so many names as I have been at Coca-Cola,” Walker told the Daily News, including “Nappy Head” and “Aunt JaMamma.” She also alleges that a white employee was ordered to clean a sewer and responded, “What am I, a n—– or something?”
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.
Read more at the Daily News.