Last year Coca-Cola paid $8.4 million in bonuses to its top six executives, despite laying-off 3,700 employees during the year. Those 3,700 employees constituted 7% of Coca-Cola’s workforce and some have questioned the decision to pay bonuses to executives while dismissing many workers. Such questions seem especially relevant in light of Coca-Cola’s record revenues and earnings in 2003.
Coca-Cola is a corporation notorious for mistreatment and abuse of workers abroad, so it should not come as any surprise that the corporation is more concerned with compensating executives than retaining jobs. Coca-Cola continues to hire paramilitaries to suppress union organizing in Colombia, with recent acts of repression leading to a hunger strike that began on March 15th.