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Delivery of Russian aluminum under threat

Russia’s second largest city is facing a wave of industrial action, with one site alone losing up to $US52, 000 a day through strikes. Workers at the city’s port have already striked and others at Ford may follow.

The dockers of the seaport of Saint-Petersburg were the first in the region to go on a strike,  demanding higher wages due to inflation.

They now work two hours a day which is cutting the port’s productivity by 40%.

“Both of our requirements are purely economic. First we want the port to raise wages by 30%. And secondly we want, together with the company’s management, to develop a scheme for how wages will be increased in the future in line with inflation,” insisted Aleksandr Moiseenko, the president of Docker’s Trade Union.

The port’s management however, says the union demands are not justified.

“Unfortunately we have not received an answer as to why the trade union is demanding a 30% wage rise. During our negotiations we did not get any economic justification for these demands. Why not 35% for example?” question Dmitry Baukov, official of the Sea Port of Saint-Petersburg.

So far the management has not revealed its losses. But estimates put potential losses at $US 52,000 for each day of the strike continues. The loss of clients is also a possibility.

Aluminium giant Rusal and Severstal are just two of the port’s clients.