Production has resumed at Ford's car assembly plant in Russia, according to a local report.

Nearly 1,400 employees returned to work at the plant - that mostly assembles the Focus - pending further talks with plant officials, a union leader told the Associated Press (AP).

Labour union head Alexei Etmanov, head of the labor union at the Vsevolozhsk plant, near St. Petersburg, told the news agency that work resumed around midnight and would continue at least until contract negotiations with company officials resumed later in the day.

The plant ground to a halt at midnight on Wednesday, as union leaders demanded the company stop using temporary workers, guarantee jobs for workers injured at the plant and provide extra pay and other benefits for hazardous assignments, AP said.

Company officials reportedly said management was ready to continue negotiations, but union leaders had rebuffed their offers.

Management also maintained that working conditions at the five-year-old plant were in line with local labour regulations and Ford's own safety standards, the Associated Press added.