About 1,000 workers of the Moscow Moskvich Automobile Plant gathered for a protest meeting on Monday near the Russian Government House. This plant produced the Moskvich cars for several years, but two years ago it was forced to stop its work because of huge debts.
The workers demand that the plant's shares be transferred from the federal ownership to the Moscow authorities. The meeting has been allowed by the authorities and is going on without any incidents.
According to the Moscow Council of the Automobile and Agricultural Machine-Building Workers' Union, within the past two years the number of the workers at the plant was reduced from 28,000 to 3,500, the production of cars practically stopped, and the wages have not been paid since last November.
The participants in the protest action stated that they would continue for another five days, and if their demands were ignored they would plan "more serious steps."
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969