In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, second right, attends the launch of Ford EcoSport production during a visit to Ford Sollers at a plant in Naberezhnye Chelny, in the Russia's region of Tatarstan, about 700 kilometers (450 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. Ford said Wednesday March 27, 2019, that it will close three factories in Russia, causing heavy job losses, as it closes this vehicle assembly plants in Naberezhnye Chelny and pulls out of passenger vehicle manufacturing in the country. (Dmitry Astakhov, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)

Ford workers in Russia protest planned closure

April 08, 2019 - 9:56 am

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Ford workers in Russia have started work-to-rule action over plans to close a plant.

Mikhail Sergeyev, head of a trade union which represents around a third of the St. Petersburg plant's 900-strong workforce, has told The Associated Press on Monday the work-to-rule will continue until Ford negotiates, and it's already causing disruption.

Sergeyev says his union is pushing for more generous layoff packages equivalent to twice a worker's annual salary.

Ford said last month that it's leaving the Russian car market and closing two assembly plants and an engine plant, after years of lackluster sales. Ford will keep making vans at another site through a joint venture.

Organized industrial action is uncommon in Russia, where many unions have close ties to management, though the auto industry is a rare exception.