The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has issued a decision to dismiss the two Coca-Cola bottlers in Colombia from all remaining cases filed in 2001 by the Colombian union Sinaltrainal and others.
The Court dismissed The Coca-Cola Company from the lawsuit in 2003. In this new decision, the court also denied plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaints to bring The Coca-Cola Company back into the lawsuit and directed the clerk to close the cases.
The Coca-Cola Company is gratified by Judge Martinez' decision to dismiss the cases. We reaffirm our belief that the claims in the suit filed against The Coca-Cola Company and two bottlers in Colombia are inaccurate and based on distorted versions of events.
We hope this decision will now enable us to put this case behind us as we continue to focus on working constructively to ensure the rights and safety of Coca-Cola workers in Colombia and worldwide. We are open to discussions with everyone who shares a commitment to finding constructive solutions to workplace issues in areas of conflict around the world.
Regardless of this development, The Coca-Cola Company continues to support the ILO's independent and impartial investigation and evaluation of labor relations and workers' rights practices of Coca-Cola bottlers in Colombia.
On August 11, 2009 The United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the U.S. District Court's dismissal of the Alien Tort Statute claims in 2006. The allegations that were the base of these claims have been investigated by courts in Colombia, as well by the International Labor Organization, outside law firms and senior executives of this Company -- all concluding that Coca-Cola employees in Colombia enjoy extensive, normal relations with multiple unions and are provided with safe working conditions there.
The Coca-Cola system will continue to support programs that bring relief to the victims of violence -- including unionized workers -- and promote human and labor rights in Colombia, as part of our commitment to work constructively with business, the Government and the NGO community to help bring real and lasting peace to this country.