The Red October factory buildings, right, are seen next to the new the World Cup stadium, left, on the banks of the Volga River in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. Workers at the Red October steelworks in Volgograd are angry over temporary layoffs linked to the World Cup and deeper financial troubles at the factory, which sits in the shadow of the Volgograd Arena tournament venue. The situation reflects difficult daily reality in Russia even as President Vladimir Putin seeks to showcase his economic successes. (AP Photo/Dmitriy Rogulin)

In World Cup's shadow, layoffs and anger at Russian factory

June 15, 2018 - 7:39 am

VOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — A worker protest over pay cuts, layoffs and working conditions at the Red October steelworks is threatening to cloud Volgograd's first World Cup match.

Many workers have been temporarily laid off as part of production cuts ordered in cities hosting the World Cup for security reasons. The layoffs have aggravated financial troubles at the struggling factory.

The situation reflects the difficult daily realities in President Vladimir Putin's Russia as he tries to use the tournament to show off his economic and political successes.

Workers plan a protest Monday when the neighboring Volgograd Arena hosts its first World Cup match, between England and Tunisia.

The plant is famous locally for surviving attacks from Adolf Hitler's armies during the World War II Battle of Stalingrad, as the city used to be called.

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