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Workers striking for higher wages at a Ford factory
Workers striking for higher wages at a Ford factory near St. Petersburg will end a four-week strike on Monday after management met their demands, a spokesman for the plant's trade union said Friday.

"At talks with the management we made the decision to call off the strike on December 17," the spokesman said.

However, he added, the agreement on the pay rise has not yet been signed.

"A draft agreement is being worked out," he said.

Some 1,000 workers at the factory halted production on November 20, demanding a 30% pay rise. Average wages at the U.S. auto giant's sole Russian plant are about 21,000 rubles ($860) a month.

Many Russian social observers heralded the Ford strike as the birth of organized union activity in post-Soviet Russia.

Unions in the U.S.S.R were mainly concerned with productivity, morale and the organization of workers' annual holidays. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the role of trade unions in society became somewhat vague, and the Ford pickets represent the strongest union action in Russia for many years.

However, Boris Kravchenko, president of the All-Russian Confederation of Labor, has said the workers are not civic heroes, but were simply "fighting to improve their work conditions."


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