* Plants offline since Friday over pay dispute
* Union member says more talks among workers soon
CARACAS Jan 17 A strike over pay in Venezuela has paralyzed
plants run by Mexico's Coca-cola FEMSA (FMX.N) (FMSAUBD.MX) since Friday, union
sources said on Monday.
The union that includes production workers has not accepted a collective pay
deal proposed by the company. The strike is centered on the plants in the cities
of Maracaibo and Valencia and involves about 1,300 employees.
"We will meet them (production workers) soon, so that we can resume dialogue
with the company, because that is the way to do it," said Sixto Materan, an
official with another union of distribution workers.
In a statement by Coca-Cola FEMSA late on Friday, the company said it had
submitted a proposal providing a significant improvement in wages and other
benefits, and that the strike increased the risk of shortages in the country.
Proposals on pay by the production union would raise labor costs by 150
percent, the company said, and were being made "without justification or
arguments to support them."
Coca-Cola FEMSA Venezuela was founded in May 2003 when FEMSA bought the
largest Coca-Cola franchise in Latin America. Coca-Cola FEMSA has operations in
Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil and
(Reporting by Mario Naranjo; Writing by Daniel Wallis, editing by Martin Golan) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +58 212 277 2660; Reuters Messaging: