(DF Watch.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Coal miners in Tkibuli in western Georgia are continuing their strike, which began more than a week ago.

They demand increased pay and better working conditions, particularly warm working clothes in winter.

Mindeli and Dzidziguri mines are affected by the strike. The workers say they approached the company  that owns the mines, Saknakhshiri, several months ago, explaining their problems, but the consultations led to no results, which was why they decided to go on strike.

Workers say that in 2016, Tkibuli was taken off a government list of mountainous settlements, which means that they no longer enjoy favorable terms that are offered to villages and towns in mountain areas. As a consequence, they have to pay 20 percent income tax, instead of 10 percent.

Friday, workers met with the head of municipality, the gamgebeli, to explain their problems. Some time earlier, the majoritarian member of parliament from Tkibuli, Eliso Chapidze, met the mine workers who are on strike. She met with Director General of Sakhnakhshiri GIG Vakhtang Chkheidze to discuss the problems the miners are having, but after the meeting it turned out that it was not possible to agree on some consensus.

The director called on the miners to return to work, because the strike has harmed the company and the community.

But the workers are not planning to give up until they achieve their goal.