Russia:Strike at Ford Averted as Demands Reviewed
Strike at Ford Averted as Demands Reviewed
The Moscow Times
The union representing workers at Ford's St. Petersburg plant said on Tuesday that it was holding off on strike action as the newly appointed management reviewed its demands.
Late last month, the union threatened to strike if workers were not granted a 30 percent pay hike and other concessions.
Ford is planning to almost double production at its Russian plant to 60,000 units beginning next year. The boost in output is putting additional pressure on the plant's workers, according to the union.
After making its initial threat of a strike in late September, the union was told by management that the plant's entire work force -- and not just the union -- should back the demands. Over the weekend, 77 delegates representing 1,058 of the plant's 1,700 employees approved the demands, leader Alexei Etmanov said.
On Monday, they were resubmitted to management, which by law has three days to respond, he said.
Etmanov said workers were hoping to reach a compromise with the new leadership.
Last week, Theo Streit, a native of Germany, took over from Australian Murray Gilbert as the plant's general director. Gilbert jumpstarted Ford's Russia operations in 1999.
Streit was not available for comment Tuesday.
"The Ford plant's management is looking forward to a positive and constructive dialogue with our employees," said Ekaterina Kulinenko, the company's spokeswoman.
Streit "knew how to communicate with the trade unions" at his previous jobs, Etmanov said.
But if the new management does not budge on the workers' demands, then a mediator will have to step in to settle the disagreement, Etmanov said.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....