Strike at Indian Volvo Bus Plant

The strike has lasted for a week, but a labor conflict which has slowed down production has been going on for about three months.

About 600 employees of a Volvo bus plant in India are striking for better pay and the return to work of four colleagues suspended following a dispute at the plant, a spokesman for the Swedish group said on August 3.

The strike has lasted for a week, Per-Martin Johansson said, but a labor conflict which has slowed down production has been going on for about three months, he added.

"The union has asked for higher wages and the return to work of the four employees who were suspended," Johansson said. Four of the plant's employees were suspended following a dispute at the plant in April, during which they allegedly physically assaulted a manager.

During the three month labor conflict some employees have worked less or not at all in protest.

The conflict has set the plant's production pace back 60 buses, Johansson said. The factory rolled out 535 buses last year.

Johansson would not comment on the cost of the labor conflict to the Swedish company, but Indian financial newspaper Business Standard said it had cost close to $10 million to Volvo.

Volvo Group -- which makes trucks, buses and boat and aircraft equipment -- does not include the Volvo Cars brand.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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