ferro zestaponi

The ferroalloy plant in Zestaponi produces 12 percent of Georgia’s national export. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Metal workers in Zestaponi in western Georgia are on strike and have paralyzed the functioning of a plant which is responsible for 12 percent of Georgia’s export.

The operation of the Zestaponi ferroalloy plant was suspended almost all of Monday. Workers held a warning rally last week, but management of the company didn’t react. All the workers at the plant are now on strike, demanding to have collective contracts and to increase their salaries by 50 percent.

Workers also want improved social conditions and compensation for night work. Hundreds of workers are participating in the protest.

Maka Kvaratskhelia, Head of Ferroalloy Company’s press office, told journalists that the company is ‘categorically against’ fulfilling the demands that have the form of an ultimatum, but is willing to listen to workers in the form of a dialogue. She said if the workers continue their protest, their salaries will be cut.

The workers dissolved on Monday evening for a while, but are planning to continue the strike from Tuesday morning.

They told local media that if management doesn’t want ultimatums, then it is unaccepable for them to listen to lies.