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Ford will fire about two-thirds of its 3,800-strong Mexico City labor force if workers refuse to end a 24-day-old work stoppage by Thursday, a company spokesman said Monday.

"If in three days they don't return, we will employ other workers," Ford spokesman Carlos Bandala told Reuters.

About 1,100 workers had returned to the company's production plant near Mexico City by Monday and 80 to 100 vehicles were rolling off the 450-unit per day line, he said.

Workers walked off the job Jan. 5 protesting rampant corruption among their union leadership and charging that the company had failed to give them mandatory Christmas bonuses.

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