Kaluga Benteler Workers Win Strike

Workers at the Benteler plant in the city of Kaluga southwest of Moscow ended their strike on Sunday after they were promised a new labor agreement and higher wages, a strike coordinator said.

Negotiators, who included management of the plant and Kaluga Governor Anatoly Artamonov, pledged to meet all demands of the striking workers, labor union activist Dmitry Kozhnev told Ekho Moskvy radio.

No official end to the strike was declared, but the workers left the plant’s premises and went home, Kozhnev said, Lenta.ru news website reported.

Work to draft a collective labor agreement will begin on Monday, Kozhnev said. He did not say when it may be completed.

About 100 workers of the Benteler plant, which produces car parts, including for a neighboring Volkswagen factory, participated in the strike, which began on Thursday. Tensions grew after worker pickets prevented produce to be shipped from the plant, though the threat of police intervention never materialized.

Protesters’ main demand was an increase in salaries, which currently averages 18,000 rubles ($600) a month – a sum that, workers said, is far below the wages at other plants in Kaluga region, which houses a prominent industrial hub.


Leave a comment