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Workers rebellion spreading across Georgia

by | Oct 23, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch — The worker protests are continuing in Georgia after the election. After a week they can note a slight progress.

It is more than five days since workers at the energy company Telasi went on strike asking to bring back about 125 employees who were fired and to have a salary appropriate to the slave-like work conditions.

Workers also demand that Telasi’s commercial director Zurab Arsoshvili resign, because they believe that mass firings started two months after he was appointed.

Monday, the commercial director left his job for unpaid salary.

Ashot Manukiani, general director of Telasi, told rally participants that he received an application from Arsoshvili to let him go on an unpaid vacation.

Manukiani also told those on strike that the premium awards system will be restored in the company and that the issue of salaries will be reviewed.

Concerning the fired employees, the management of the company decided to set up a commission to study each case, but rally participants are not satisfied with these conditions and demand that Arsoshvili resigns, instead of going on vacation.

A few days ago Arsoshvili explained to journalists the reason for firing so many employees. He said that when he was appointed as commercial director, the company decided to have a new company policy and proposed to each worker to refuse corrupt deals and follow the new the direction of the company, which many of the employees refused and left their jobs.

But employees contradict this version of events and claim that they were fired without explanation.

Malkhaz Ghoniashvili, chair of Telasi Trade Union, on Monday went on hunger strike demanding that Arsoshvili immediately resigns.

Other rally participants gave a three day term to the company’s management — until Thursday – if Zurab Arsoshvili and his team won’t resign they will organize a large rally.

Thousands of mineers have been on strike for more than a week in Chiatura, a town in central Georgia rich in manganese.

Workers demand normal working conditions and a 100 percent increase in salaries.

Management offered to increase salaries by 25 percent, but workers do not plan to give up until they achieve a 100 percent increase.

On the sixth day of the strike, ten miners are 100 meters underground in a mine. They refuse to leave the mine until the workers’ demands are met.

All mines and plants in Chiatura have been closed down since the strike started.



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