TBILISI, DFWatch–Two thousand railway workers went on strike in Georgia Thursday, demanding overtime pay, bonus system and entitlements.
The workers on strike have three main demands: compensation for overtime, a transparent system for award payments and to have salaries that are in accordance with experience and qualification.
Workers warn that they will organize rallies if their demands are not met.
Despite the strike, Georgian Railway was operating without interruptions on Thursday and every train left and arrived on schedule.
A company spokesperson calls on the workers to stop their ‘destructive and threatening tone’ and sit down at the negotiating table for a constructive dialogue.
The company offers to hold negotiations if the protests are called off. The railway workers trade union claims that the management of Georgian Railway didn’t do what the workers have been asking for.
The problem is that collective negotiations lasted endlessly without any consensus, and according to the trade unions, the company didn’t want to agree to any of the workers’ demands.
During the negotiations, the workers gave the management 21 days to come through on their requests, and then an additional ten days, which ended on November 14. That is why the workers decided to go on strike.
“We understand that this may cause financial loss for the railway company, but people employed in the railway have problems which must be heard,” one of the trade union representatives says.
Tamar Gedevanishvili, spokesperson for the Georgian Trade Unions, told Interpressnews that about 2 000 Georgian Railway workers are currently on strike.