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Russian Autoworkers Strike Over Unpaid Wages

TAGANROG, Russia -- Hundreds of autoworkers in southwestern Russia have gone on strike to demand they receive unpaid salaries, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Several workshops at the TagAvtoProm plant in the city of Taganrog were deserted today because of the strike.

On November 12, about 150 employees refused to work because they had not received their paychecks from September.

They later agreed to start working after workshop chief Aleksei Raskolodko promised their salaries would be paid this week.

But hundreds of plant employees refused again today to start work because of the unpaid wages.

A lawyer representing TagAvtoProm's management and a member of a labor union established by management tried to persuade the workers to return to their jobs, saying the strike would affect their November salaries.

But Sergei Penchukov, chairman of the Inter-Regional Labor Union branch in Taganrog, told journalists the strikers interpreted that statement as pressure and decided to continue their strike.

Penchukov said the workers would not resume work until they received their back wages or the plant's management gave a written guarantee that all of the unpaid salaries will be paid in the near future.

The plant has about 6,000 workers and they assemble various types of cars for both Russian and international companies.

Read more in Russian here.