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More workers join wave of strikes in Georgia

by | Oct 24, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch — The results of the recent parliamentary election encouraged workers all over Georgia to protest against their harsh conditions and demand improvements.

Next to join in are the workers at a plant in Borjomi processing the well-known mineral water of the same name. Monday workers there went on strike. The plant is paralyzed by the strike which is motivated by a demand for a pay rise.

Workers are quoted by local media saying that their salary is a joke and even doubling it won’t be enough.

The salary of a sanitarian is 3 lari, or USD 1.80, a day.

Workers say that for months they have heard promises from company managers about increasing salaries, but the amount increased only very slightly and is still below a decent level.

The Management of the mineral water company plans a visit to Borjomi, a popular Georgian resort, to meet with the employees.

There is a large protest ongoing in the mining town Chiatura, where more than 3 800 workers have been on strike for more than a week, supported by students, staff of a clinic and trade unions.

Their salaries are low, their work schedule difficult, and everyday conditions are humiliating. The miners want a 100 percent increase in salaries and better conditions. All plants and mines have seized operation since the protest started.

Georgian Manganese LTD which owns all mines in Chiatura has been in talks with the workers, but the talks have not borne fruit so far.

Also in Tbilisi workers are on strike. Employees of the electric company Telasi demand that 125 employees who were fired are given their jobs back and ask to have normal salaries appropriate for their work.

Meanwhile employees of Georgian Railway have the same demand and threaten that they will shut down local and international train service.

Monday, the administration of Georgian Railway called on employees to avoid interruption of train service as this may hurt the transport of transnational cargo.

The administration of the company says it will initiate a stagewise increase in salaries, which will be from 100 lari, USD 60, for rail rehabilitation workers to 2 500 lari, USD 1 500, for chairs of large shift stations.

Workers of Georgian Railway also demand to improve labor conditions and restore rights for employees who were punished for activism within trade unions.



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