Production resumes at world's biggest Nutella plant

FILE - In this June 18 2010 file photo,a bartender spreads Nutella on a crepe in a creperie in Rome. French workers frustrated over salary negotiations are blocking the world's biggest Nutella factory. Tensions are mounting at the site in Villers-Ecalles in Normandy, where activists from the Workers' Force union have been blocking trucks from entering or leaving the factory for a week. (AP Photo/Alberto Pellaschiar, File)

Workers at the world's biggest Nutella factory have removed picket lines and are back at work after production was brought to a near standstill for more than a week over a dispute on salaries.

PARIS — Workers at the world's biggest Nutella factory have removed picket lines and are back at work after production was brought to a near standstill for more than a week over a dispute on salaries.

Ferrero, the owner of the hugely popular hazelnut and chocolate spread, said Wednesday that access to the factory was reopened overnight and that "normal activity" had resumed at the site.

Though exact details of why the blockade had been halted, the company praised the "positive outcome" that has allowed employees to resume their work "calmly."

Activists from Workers' Force at the factory in Villers-Ecalles in Normandy had barred trucks from entering or leaving the factory for more than a week.

Spokeswoman Prescillia Bourguignon said management had made "positive progress," adding that more negotiations would take place.

According to the union, the 160 of the factory's 350 workers who took part in the walkout demanded a 4.5% salary increase, one-time 900-euro ($1,000) bonuses and better working conditions. It was unclear whether their demands had been granted.

The plant produces 600,000 jars of the chocolate and hazelnut spread every day — a quarter of the world's output.

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