Workers at Automobile Dacia SA, the Romanian car company owned by Renault, went on strike Friday, demanding higher pay rises this year, according to a Dow Jones report.

Dow Jones reports that the trade union wants wages to be increased 23% this year, but the company has offered a 14% increase.

The company said it would issue a statement later on Friday.

Dacia remains the market leader in Romania in 2002, selling 57,000 units of its locally produced Dacia brand, and sees its sales rising to around 67,000 this year.

The plant is undergoing a vast restructuring programme to meet the French firm’s plans to turn Dacia into its number two brand after its own, by launching a 5,000-euro model that would help it break even in 2004-2005.