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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Norilsk Set to Lighten Work Force

NORILSK, Far North -- The main unit of Russia's Norilsk Nickel metals group plans to shed 10,000 jobs this year, trimming its total work force by 8.3 percent as part of a restructuring plan, a senior company official said Thursday.

Oleg Budargin, deputy director of the Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical Combine, said that around 10,000 workers who had applied to leave their jobs would be let go this year and not replaced.

But a senior trade union official said the cuts would cost Norilsk 7 trillion rubles in various benefits, and that non-payment of the benefits could go against the spirit of a recent agreement with management on labor disputes.

"It could cause a problem with a protocol if the obligations are not met," said Boris Degtyaryov, deputy chairman of Norilsk's United Trade Union Committee. He was referring to an agreement signed between management and labor in March in which workers, upset over wage and other arrears, agreed not to disrupt output before July 1.