The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has offered to mediate a dispute between Coca-Cola Femsa and former drivers who have halted distribution.

The staff have all but shut down the Venezuelan operations of Latin America's leading soft-drink bottler and now the Government is offering to help solve the conflict.

Former contractors of the Mexican bottling company have been blocking four plants and 26 distribution centres since Friday, with more than 11,000 ex-contractors saying the company owes them money.

The government has stepped in just days after Venezuela's Supreme Court said it had "exhausted" negotiation efforts.

The company estimates it will lose US$15m this year due to three protests by former contract workers.