ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Workers at a Russian assembly plant run by Ford Motor Co. stopped their week-long work slowdown on Monday, but labor union officials said action may resume if pay demands were not met.
The plant in St. Petersburg, Russia's second city, was one of the first to be opened in the country by a foreign carmaker and plans to turn out 36,000 Ford Focus models this year. It is Ford's only plant in Russia.
"We've started working as usual. At the moment we have peace and friendship," said Alexei Etmanov, a senior union official. "We'll have to see what happens by the end of the week. We are holding talks at the moment."
He said the union would hold a conference next week to decide whether to hold further action.
The protest -- when employees deliberately work with less effort to win confessions -- started at the plant last week after workers demanded a pay rise.
"Production has fallen in the past week," said a spokeswoman for Ford in Russia without giving any numbers. "The company is looking for ways of protecting its clients from additional costs of car deliveries."
Separately, a source close to the company told Reuters Ford was considering importing Focus models from factories elsewhere in Europe to meet demand.
"They will be probably sold at the same price as the Russian-assembled ones," the source said.
Another company source said that workers decided to halt industrial action after learning that officials could shut down the factory altogether if production levels continued to shrink.
Demand for cars has ballooned in Russia as incomes rise and consumers switch to Western-designed models from cheaper, less glamorous domestic autos.
France's Renault SA also has a factory in Russia while Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to build a major plant. German media has reported that Volkswagen AG is looking at assembling its cars in Russia.