Volvo will hire between 100 and 150 new workers to help increase production at its main assembly plant, a spokesman told Associated Press.

The temporary workers, who will be hired at the beginning of 2005, will ensure that production continues while other workers take their mandated coffee breaks during mornings and afternoons, Volvo spokesman Christer Gustafsson told the news agency.

He reportedly said the 'temps' will allow Volvo to boost its weekly production by 300-350 cars - the workers will be hired for eight-month shifts.

The Associated Press noted that Swedish labour law is strict about making sure workers get ample break time and employees often take two coffee breaks a day - the temporary workers will not be on the job during lunch and supper breaks, when production at the plant stops for an hour.

"We have strong sales and need to the make the most of our production resources," Gustafsson told AP, adding that the contract calls for the new employees to work from January to August. "Then we will see if there is reason enough to go on for another period. That depends on the order intake."

AP said Volvo now employees about 5,500 workers at the Goteborg plant and produces between 4,000 and 4,100 sedans and wagons a week.

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