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Carmaker AvtoVAZ says it fired two workers after Aug. 1 strike

MOSCOW, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's leading carmaker AvtoVAZ said two workers had been fired and many others would be stripped of their bonuses for taking part in a strike on August 1 to demand a payrise.

The trade union at the state-controlled plant based in the Volga city of Togliatti had demanded workers' salaries be raised from the equivalent of $300-$400 to $1,000. The plant's management dismissed the demand as ridiculous, and said the strike violated labor laws.

"They violated labor legislation and inflicted damage on their company," a plant spokesman said.

AvtoVAZ, known abroad for its Lada brand, did not specify how many workers would have their bonuses withheld, but trade union leaders said 170 people would be punished.

According to various estimates, 150-600 people took part in the protest. The company's trade union had hoped to rally thousands in the first strike in the carmaker's history.

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