AvtoVAZ (AVAZ.MM), Russia's largest carmaker, said on Monday it would cut 5,000 jobs from a workforce that has already protested against cutbacks.

AvtoVAZ has been under intense government pressure in recent months not to lay off workers.

The cutbacks account for 5 percent of its entire staff, according to an AvtoVAZ announcement.

The order (to cut jobs) has revised the staff list ... The overall reduction will amount to about 5,000 people, it said in a statement.

A source close to AvtoVAZ, which is part-owned by French carmaker Renault (RENA.PA), told Reuters earlier on Monday the company would start cutting jobs from Dec. 14.

Car sales in Russia have more than halved this year as the country's first recession in a decade forces consumers to rein in spending [ID:nL8400601].

AvtoVAZ cut the working week and halted production completely during August. Last month hundreds of workers demanded the company be nationalised amid salary cuts and speculation that a quarter of jobs could be cut.

The company also said it would restore the normal working week from Dec. 14 after the relevant order was signed by AvtoVAZ President Igor Komarov on Monday.

The Russian government is pooling its large stakes in several major automotive firms including AvtoVAZ and KamAZ (KMAZ.MM) into a holding company that will operate under the umbrella of Russian Technologies.

Analysts have said that the stake in Opel that Russia's Sberbank (SBER03.MM) is now set to acquire from General Motors [GM.UL] may also be included in the new automotive holding.

Sberbank is helping finance the bid for Germany's Opel put forward by Canadian auto parts maker Magna (MGa.TO). (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Maria Kiselyova and Conor Sweeney; Editing by Greg Mahlich)