Court rejects Ford compensation claim against St. Petersburg strikers

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A Russian court rejected on Thursday a compensation claim by Ford management against workers at a car factory near St. Petersburg who went on strike in late 2007, a trade union head said.
ST PETERSBURG, February 12 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian court rejected on Thursday a compensation claim by Ford management against workers at a car factory near St. Petersburg who went on strike in late 2007, a trade union head said.

"The suit has been rejected," Alexei Etmanov said.

Some 1,000 employees halted production at a Ford plant in the Leningrad Region town of Vsevolozhsk on November 20, 2007, demanding a 30% pay rise.

The strike ended when management agreed with the union to increase wages by up to 21%. In September 2008 a further 8%-10% wage increase was agreed. The halt cost the plant 4.5 million rubles ($125,600).

The suit concerned 31 delegates to a conference where a decision was made to launch the strike.

The Vsevolozhsk court also refused to consider the trade union's appeal for up to 100 million rubles ($2.8 million) in compensation for underpaid evening and night shifts.

The company's management has not commented on the court decision.

The Ford plant, which opened in the summer of 2002, produces Ford Focus cars and employs more than 2,000 people.

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