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Coca-Cola Company

Essay by   •  May 1, 2011  •  Case Study  •  511 Words (3 Pages)  •  890 Views

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The Coca-Cola Company established itself as a premier beverage business by maximizing its production and distribution throughout the world. These strong production efforts were met with equally effective marketing campaigns which led to it becoming the biggest beverage company in the world. Due to these accomplishments, many of Coca-Cola's controversial labor and business practices have been overlooked by many in the general public. However, more people are becoming aware of these disputes due to student and activist unions pressuring some of the largest and well-known universities in the United States to ban Coca-Cola products. These educational institutions include the University of Michigan, New York University, Rutgers University, and Santa Clara University. Although the banning of Coke products in these universities represents only a small percentage of the Coca-Cola Company's sales, it has done much harm to their reputation. This case discusses the allegations against the Coca-Cola Company, as well their responses to them.

Coca-Cola has been battling activists and trade union groups in different countries for years. In Colombia, they have been accused of hiring paramilitary death squads to kidnap, intimidate, or kill its union leaders and other workers at its bottling plants. This is suspected due to the fact that eight union leaders of these plants have been murdered, and many others claim to have been abducted and tortured. Additionally, the Coca-Cola Company faces more opposition in India for draining the underground water table, selling beverages containing harmful pesticide residues, and distributing sludge containing toxic chemicals as fertilizer to farmers in Kerala. Furthermore, they were charged monetary penalties in Mexico for participating in "anti-competitive business practices." In response to these global controversies, Coca-Cola created an exclusive website which states that there is no evidence linking them to the murders of the union members in Colombia.

The main issue debated in this case is whether companies based in the United States should maintain our laws and expectations concerning basic human rights to all their business operations, including those of which are done in other countries. According to the actions taken by the Coca-Cola Company, it is evident that they wish to only follow the regulations forced upon them by the host country and that they put very



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