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Coca-Cola gains injunction against former employees for defamation

31 August 2014 / 13:08:56  GRReporter
1779 reads

In a statement the Coca Cola company announced that it has won in the first instance a libel case brought to court in Athens.

The company gave this statement after articles appeared regarding their recent decision to take action in relation to the slander by a small group of former employees.

"The first-instance court of Athens, recognizing the messages that were deliberately spread by former employees of the factory in Thessaloniki as being unsubstantiated, false and misleading, denied the baseline and the main argument of the defamation actions and prohibited the use, distribution and reproduction in any way of the message that Coca-Cola is produced in Bulgaria, taxed in Switzerland and consumed in Greece", the statement said.

The company claims that thus the court has affirmed that the statements of former employees are defamatory and do not correspond to the actual business of the company. At the same time, the judgment does not prohibit any protests, including boycotting, as part of legitimate trade union activity.

The company, Coca Cola 3E, notes inter alia that for 45 years it has maintained a strong presence in the country producing 96% of its products in Greece, and fully meets all its tax obligations to the GreekState.

In particular, over the last 10 years it has paid the state, in taxes, salaries and other obligations, around € 1 billion, furthermore taking only 2012 to 2013 into account the amount is € 258.8 million.

Simultaneously, over the past two years the company has invested € 275 million in the Greek market, and since the beginning of 2014 its new investment plan has been in action.

The statement continued: "Former employees who worked on the installation of plant in Thessaloniki have initiated a smear campaign vilifying the company in recent months, at a time when Coca-Cola HBC repeatedly offered them employment and income”.

The company claims that over the last two years it has made three offers to former employees in an attempt to find the best possible solution - "from the offer of a free car, working as independent distributors in the supply of products, secure jobs on a 3-year or 5- year contract through to the covering the cost of all legal and bureaucratic procedures".

According to the company all proposals have been rejected without any explanation on the part of the trade union that chose the path of libel instead. 

Tags: smear campaign judgment former employees Coca Cola
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