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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

AvtoVAZ Workers Threaten to Strike

For MTYedinstvo labor union said that although the strike would only involve 5,000 workers, the action could halt production.
Workers at auto giant AvtoVAZ are threatening to bring the production line to a halt in a strike over wage demands, a union official said Monday.

From Aug. 1, about 5,000 workers in three workshops at AvtoVAZ's Tolyatti plant will go on strike if pay is not raised to a minimum of 25,000 rubles ($980) per month, union leader Pyotr Zolotaryov said by telephone from Tolyatti on Monday.

These demands would see wages almost triple, Kommersant reported Monday.

Zolotaryov heads the independent labor union Yedinstvo, which was a driving force behind two similar wage disputes at AvtoVAZ in 1994 and 2000.

Zolotaryov said the union had been sending letters to the company's management "since the middle of July" warning them of the possibility of strike action if demands are not met.

Although the strike would only involve around 5,000 of AvtoVAZ's approximately 110,000 workers, Zolotaryov said the workshops set to strike were key and could bring production to a halt.

He could not say how long any expected work stoppage would last.

But a source close to AvtoVAZ management dismissed on Monday the possibility of a strike, saying the union claims did not correspond to reality.

"There is no threat of a strike," the source said. "Only a few dozen people signed the letter."

The company's management is expected to respond formally to the union's demands on Thursday, Kommersant reported.