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The BBC's Richard Quest in New York
"The courts won't tolerate discrimination in the workplace"
 real 56k

Director of Public Relations, Robert Baskin
"There is no tolerance for discrimination here"
 real 28k

The BBC's Stephen Cviic in Washington
"Race is an extremely sensitive issue in the United States"
 real 28k

Rob Baskin, Coca Cola spokesman
"A fair and equitable settlement"
 real 28k

Thursday, 16 November, 2000, 19:43 GMT
Coca-Cola in race pay-out
Former Coke employee takes part in protest
Workers maintain the pressure on Coca-Cola
The US soft drinks giant Coca-Cola Company has agreed to pay out $192.5m after a group of African-American employees accused it of racial discrimination.

Where the money goes
$113m - cash compensation
$43.5m - salary adjustments
$36m - company employment practice reform
(Plaintiff's figures)

Four African-American workers, representing 2,000, of their colleagues, brought the case against Coca Cola last year.

The workers said they had suffered discrimination in pay, promotions and perfomance evaluations.

"Today we have closed a painful chapter in our company's history," Coca-Cola chairman Doug Daft said on the company's website on Thursday.

Employment overhaul

Coca Cola - the world's largest soft drinks firm - has also agreed to a complete examination of its employment practices by an external body.

The seven-member panel will recommend and enforce changes to Coca Cola's pay, promotion and staff evaluation policies, a statement issued by the plaintiffs said.

Coca-Cola Chairman Doug Daft
Doug Daft: A 'painful chapter' is closed
The company has the right to challenge any changes if it believes they would be impossible to implement or not financially feasible.

The claim affects African-Americans employed by Coca-Cola between April, 1995 and June, 2000.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs -who filed the lawsuit in April of last year - say it is the biggest settlement ever agreed in a class action case involving race discrimination.

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See also:

18 Jul 00 | Americas
Coca-Cola 'loses some of its fizz'
26 Jan 00 | Business
Coca-Cola cuts 6,000 jobs
19 May 00 | Business
Coca-Cola offices raided
22 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Coke moves into North Korea
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