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Russian Auto Union Plans Mass Protest At AvtoVAZ

TOLYATTI, Russia -- The independent Yedinstvo (Unity) trade union at Russia's AvtoVAZ automaker has announced it will hold mass protests to challenge the company's decision to lay off thousands of workers, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Union leader Petr Zolotarev told RFE/RL that the exact date of the protest has not been decided, but will likely be held by the end of this month.

On September 14, newly appointed AvtoVAZ president Igor Komarov signed an order, according to which, on December 14, the factory will resume full-time operations and up to 5,000 workers will be laid off.

Workers are currently working only part-time and receiving partial wages.

AvtoVAZ is Russia's biggest car manufacturer and employs about 100,000 people. It was founded in the late 1960s through a partnership with the Italian automaker Fiat.