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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Workers Threaten Heineken

Workers at Heineken's plant in St. Petersburg are threatening a rulebook slowdown unless they get a 30 percent raise, a year-end bonus, extra pay for hazardous conditions and other concessions.

A letter demanding better pay and conditions was sent Friday to plant general director Oleg Bokov, union leader Valery Sokolov said Monday.

The demands are to compensate for a 30 percent to 35 percent cost of living hike last year, Sokolov said, citing what he said were data from a law firm advising the workers.

If management does not respond within five working days, the workers will start a rulebook slowdown, Sokolov said. "We'll start working according to all the technical norms," he said. "The plant would come to a halt."

Of the plant's 450 workers, about 370 are unionized but only 220 of those have permanent contracts, Sokolov said.

After a similar demand last year, the workers won a 27 percent raise, Sokolov said. Average monthly pay is 17,000 to 18,000 rubles ($650 to $700), he said.

Anna Meleshina, a spokeswoman for Heineken, said the plant would respond to the workers shortly and played down the threat of industrial action.

In February, workers from Ford's Leningrad region plant won concessions after staging a 24-hour sit-in strike. Asked if that had inspired the Heineken workers, Sokolov said the threatened action paled in comparison to that of the car workers.