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Unpaid Russian Workers In Altai Krai Appeal To Medvedev

RUBTSOVSK, Russia -- Tractor-plant workers in the central Russian town of Rubtsovsk have warned President Dmitry Medvedev that they will start a hunger strike unless they receive their overdue salaries, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Protest organizer Sergei Yurchenko, who is the first secretary of the Communist Party's Rubtsovsk branch in the Altai Krai, told RFE/RL on April 27 that 40 workers are ready to start the hunger strike and more may join them.

The workers videotaped their demand to Medvedev and mailed it to him. They say previous letters to the president and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have not received any response.

The hunger strike was originally scheduled for May 9 but has been postponed until May 15. The workers have also started raising money to buy a plane ticket for Medvedev so that "he could come and see what has happened to the city's plants and factories."

Workers said that in addition to the unpaid back wages, the plant has been closed due to a lack of orders.

The Altai tractor plant's administration reportedly owes its workers about $3 million in back wages.