The “Killer Coke” case revolves around to brutal murders of union leaders in a bottling plant in Colombia and the corporate responsibility of the Coca-Cola Company. The Killer Coke movement alleges that the Coca-Cola Company directed or was implicitly involved in the killings to ensure that unions were broken in the Colombian plants. The obvious legal ramifications are that contract killings took place at the plant. The more subtle ethical issue is even if Coca-Cola didn’t explicitly order the killings, did they knowingly ignore the grave working conditions that faced the people working in their plant. Ray Roger’s is leads a movement against Coca-Cola, calling for a ban of all Coke products after the murders. Finally there is discussion about whether Coca-Cola did enough to investigate the working conditions, citing that the audit they commissioned was to be done by a company with a history of false favorable reports that covered up “gross human rights violations.” Utilizing the concepts we have covered in class, the core issues can be broken down:
• Three business ethics issues – individual, organizational and societal.
• Ethical Frameworks – Utilitarianism, individual rights and justice & fairness and ethics of care.
As mentioned in the summary, the heart of the Killer Coke case is the executions of two prominent union leaders in the Bebidas factory in Colombia. The legal ramifications are directly tied to the paramilitaries who murdered the two men as well as Ariosto Milan Mosquera, who was hired to manage the plant. He is alleged to have threatened to destroy the union and allowed the paramilitaries to access the plant. The shade of gray here is whether Mosquera acted on his own or whether, Bebidas (and perhaps even Coca-Cola) where aware of his plans and whether all of them should be held liable for the murders. Legally Coca-Cola USA and Coca-Cola Colombia... [continues]
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