Free Essay: Coca-Cola Stands Firm Amid Criticism of Human Rights Violations in South East Asia

Published: 2023-04-05
Free Essay: Coca-Cola Stands Firm Amid Criticism of Human Rights Violations in South East Asia
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Human resources Coca-Cola Asia Human rights
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 645 words
6 min read

A delegation of Coca-Cola workers drawn from its branches and plants across the globe staged a protest to demonstrate their frustrations at the increased cases of human rights violations. The demonstrators gathered outside the company's headquarters in Atlanta, as the "Engaging Business Forum" was still going on (Neo, 2018). This is not the first time people are accusing Coca-Cola of human rights violations and labor violations. Some of the weaknesses of the company include intense competition with Pepsi, mass production of a wide range of products, working conditions, and health concerns associated with its wide range of carbonated drinks. According to this article, the protesters who included the international union of Food Workers (IUF), decried the repeated violation of their rights (IUF, 2020). Coca-Cola has been struggling with this issue for many years; thus, it can be termed as a weakness.

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The IUF described Coca-Cola as a serial human rights offender, with the federation further accusing it of sacking more than 600 workers in its FEMSA branch in the Philippines. The union termed the mass termination as contrary to the company claims to stand for (Editor, 2020). This could also be viewed as a threat to the company or an opportunity for betterment. If the company is not able to act or implement measures of solving the problem that the workers are accusing it of, its competitors could seize the opportunity to increase their market share. For instance, Pepsi, Coca-Cola's main rival could choose to employ the terminated employees at better pay and better working conditions; this would further tarnish the reputation and brand image of Coca-Cola in favor of Pepsi (Abed, 2009).

Compliance with human rights and labor laws is an opportunity for growth and continued dominance in the food and beverage industry if taken seriously by Coca-Cola. The demonstration that was held in Atlanta is just a mere representation of over 100 workers' unions across the world that have launched campaigns against the company. If Coca-Cola changed its human rights and workers' rights policies to pacify the angry workers, it would be effective in improving the brand image of the company globally (Abed, 2009). A better brand image means more sales and hence more profits. Therefore, this scenario is relevant to the concept of SWOT analysis discussed in module 5.

SWOT analysis, when applied in consideration of the various news stories concerning the issue of workers' rights compliance with labor laws, would be effective in the implementation of a new strategic plan. Coca-Cola could focus on ensuring that it improves the working conditions in all its establishments across the world. Remuneration should also be considered as a means of appeasing disgruntled workers. The company should also pressure its suppliers to pay their farmers wages that are acceptable. My opinion on the whole issue of human rights propagated through various news stories across the world is a call for action to Coca-Cola (Abed, 2009). The company should understand that although it is the leading company in the global food and beverage industry, it should work towards restoring its brand image. Competitors such as Pepsi are always on alert to utilize the weaknesses of Coca-Cola as opportunities for their growth and expansion. Weaknesses are what competitors thrive on. Coca-Cola should be wary of the threat of new substitutes in the market.


Abed, A. (2009). SWOT analysis of Coca-Cola and Pepsi Co. Publications Oboulo. com.

Editor, D. (2020). ASEAN morning news for September 21. AEC News Today. Retrieved February 13, 2020, from

IUF. (2020). Unions protest Coca-Cola's serial human rights violations at the company-hosted conference on Business and Human Rights | Coca-Cola Workers Worldwide. Retrieved February 13 2020, from

Neo, P. (2018). Coca-Cola stands firm amid criticism of 'human rights violations in South East Asia. [online] Available at: [Accessed February 13. 2020].

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