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Big Losses for Coca-Cola

For related articles and information, please visit OCA's Breaking The Chains page and our Politics and Democracy page.

1. Spain: Coke Sales Plummet : Court Orders 821 Workers Re-instated with Back Pay

Spain didn't win The World Cup this year, but Spanish workers sure beat Coca-Cola big time. Campaign supporters in Spain first contacted us with the good news and euronews (6/20/14) reported:

"Coca-Cola sales nosedive in Spain after boycott call over layoff plan," euronews, June 20, 2014 Read Article

"According to the newspaper El Economista, the sharp fall over a one-year period represents the largest decline ever recorded by the soft drinks giant.

"It is the second piece of bad news in a week for Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, which resulted from a merger of several bottlers in 2013. Last Friday, June 13, it was ordered by a court to reinstate more than 800 workers as its controversial redundancy plan backfired.

"In January, the company's Spanish subsidiary confirmed plans for a massive cost-cutting operation involving the closure of four of its 11 factories in Spain and the layoff of 1,190 employees, almost a third of the total workforce.

The news gained widespread attention, coming as it did from a profit-making firm in a country where more than one in four of the workforce is unemployed. Street protests followed, as did a campaign for consumers to shun Coke products...

"According to El Economista, in central Spain - the region which includes Madrid - sales diminished by 48.6 percent in the one-year period from 28 February 2013 to 28 February 2014."

2. India: Coke Hit with Heavy Losses as Communities Fight Back

Coca-Cola continues to take a beating in India from those opposing its quest to steal more water and land and expand its market. The last thing India needs is more Coke. Right now the company's per capita consumption is low but as consumption and production increases in parts of India so does childhood obesity and associated health problems and the depletion and pollution of ground water needed for irrigation, drinking and sanitation is exacerbated.

The latest blow to Coca-Cola happened on June 18, 2014 when it was forced to shut down its plant in Mehdiganj in the state of Utter Pradesh. But on June 20, the company was granted a temporary stay pending appeal and allowed to reopen. However, Coca-Cola had also built an expanded facility in Mehdiganj which remains shut down. The following excerpts are from a statement released by the India Resource Center:

"Coca-Cola's expanded facility in Mehdiganj has already been built but has not been able to begin commercial operations. The company also faces a major obstacle in its operations because some of the land acquired by Coca-Cola for its plant is community owned land and cannot be used for private purposes. In December 2013, local authorities passed an order to evict Coca-Cola from the illegally occupied land but Coca-Cola approached the courts and obtained a stay order.

"Coca-Cola has also been forced to shut down another bottling plant in India in 2004 - in Plachimada in the state of Kerala, and faces legislation holding it liable for $47 million in damages as a result of its operations. The company is also the target of a major community campaign in Kala Dera in Rajasthan where the community is seeking closure of the bottling plant due to rapidly depleting ground water. Most recently, Coca-Cola's plans to build a new factory in Charba in Uttarakhand were defeated almost as soon as the proposal was made public in 2013, testament to how quickly and efficiently communities can organize and network in India against problematic companies such as Coca-Cola..."   


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