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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Union Says AvtoVAZ Fired Staff

A number of AvtoVAZ workers involved in a strike on Aug. 1 at the firm's Tolyatti plant are being punished by the company's management, representatives for the independent trade union behind the stoppage said Tuesday.

Twenty-six workers have been officially censured and stripped of their right to an annual bonus, Yedinstvo union chairman Pyotr Zolotaryov said. Two workers have been fired for their actions, he said.

"We will protect the union and defend the people that took part in the strike," Zolotaryov said. "The management has not kept its promise that none of the participants would be punished".

AvtoVAZ declined to comment Tuesday.

During this month's strike, several hundred workers at one of the workshops on the plant's main production line downed tools for four hours over a wage dispute with the company's management. The union demanded a raise in the minimum monthly salary to 25,000 rubles ($980) a month, a move that would see wages almost triple, according to union statistics.

AvtoVAZ maintains that average wages at the plant are around 14,000 rubles per month.

Prior to the strike, Yedinstvo accused local authorities and AvtoVAZ officials of organizing a campaign of harassment against its members in an effort to prevent the strike.

AvtoVAZ officials denied all allegations at the time.