Coca-Cola FEMSA has asked courts in Venezuela to prevent demonstrators protesting at its bottling and distribution plants around the country from blocking deliveries.

The Coke bottler, which accounts for 40% of Coke's volumes in Latin America, has seen two days of protests paralyze its sites throughout Venezuela.

Two prominent Venezuelan politicians are behind the protests, which are believed to stem from distribution deals signed before Coca-Cola FEMSA entered the country in 2003.

A source familiar with the situation told just-drinks today (25 October) that Coca-Cola FEMSA had sought a Supreme Court injunction to allow deliveries to leave the company's bottling plants.

The source said that 30 to 40 protestors had blocked access to each bottling site, with around 20 demonstrators at a number of distribution sites throughout Venezuela.

No current Coca-Cola FEMSA employees are involved in the dispute, the source said, adding that a trade union affiliated to the company had denounced the protests on Venezuelan television.

Coca-Cola FEMSA has asked courts in Venezuela to prevent demonstrators protesting at its bottling and distribution plants around the country from blocking deliveries.

The Coke bottler, which accounts for 40% of Coke's volumes in Latin America, has seen two days of protests paralyze its sites throughout Venezuela.

Former delivery contractors have seized control of the company's three plants, a number of distribution centres and its head office in Venezuela in a row over distribution agreements.

Two prominent Venezuelan politicians are behind the protests, which are believed to stem from distribution deals signed before Coca-Cola FEMSA entered the country in 2003.

A source familiar with the situation told just-drinks today (25 October) that Coca-Cola FEMSA had sought a Supreme Court injunction to allow deliveries to leave the company's bottling plants.

The source said that 30 to 40 protestors had blocked access to each bottling site, with around 20 demonstrators at a number of distribution sites throughout Venezuela.

No current Coca-Cola FEMSA employees are involved in the dispute, the source said, adding that a trade union affiliated to the company had denounced the protests on Venezuelan television.

The former distribution contractors are protesting over unpaid money they believe is due to them under deals signed three years ago.

Coca-Cola FEMSA, a joint venture between Coca-Cola Co. and Mexican drinks group FEMSA, is believed to have fought a legal battle with the former employees for months. The company said Venezuela's legal authorities had already ruled against the contractors.

Coca-Cola FEMSA has insisted the protests are illegal and unconstitutional. Company officials could not be reached for comment as just-drinks went to press.