VENEZUELA: Workers block Coca-Cola plants

By | 23 October 2006

Employees at Coca-Cola Co. factories in Venezuela have reportedly blocked access to all the company's plants with support from pro-government politicians amid a protest over workers debts.

"We have seized Coca-Cola plants. We will not allow a single truck from Coca-Cola to leave with soft drinks," Iris Varela, a National Assembly member, said during a televised interview, according to a report from the Dow Jones agency.

Varela said: "Now we will see if they will pay workers what they owe them," adding that if the company fails to meet the demands of the workers, then it should be "expropriated".

Coke officials in Atlanta declined to comment on the reports when contacted by just-drinks today (23 October). Coca-Cola FEMSA representatives in Mexico City could not be reached for comment.

Coca-Cola FEMSA, a joint venture between the US soft drinks giant and Mexican brewer and soft drinks group FEMSA, bottles Coke products in Latin America. The unit accounts for 40% of Coke volumes throughout Latin America. Coke owns a 54% stake in the venture.

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Coca-Cola Co, FEMSA, Coke

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