3 – Regular violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Georgia

The ITUC affiliate in Georgia is the Georgian Trade Union Confederation (GTUC).

In practice

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3,700 Georgian mineworkers under threat saw their right to bargain collectively undermined20-01-2016

On 11 January 2016, the mining company, Georgian Manganese LLC, informed workers at its Chiatura manganese mine that it would stop extraction from 20 January until 20 May 2016 due to a decrease in the market price of manganese.

The management promised workers 60 per cent of their salary, medical insurance during the four-month downtime and said it would pay interest on loans for those workers who had them. However, in return, the company forced workers to sign - without the chance to consult their lawyers or engage trade union representatives - an additional agreement that amended the essential terms of their employment contract and deprived the majority of miners of their right to paid leave in 2016.

The Trade Union of Metallurgy, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers of Georgia (TUMMCIWG) has challenged the unilaterally imposed managerial decision to shut down mining operations for four months, demanding for Government’s intervention and the exemption of Chiatura miners from the obligation to pay personal income tax during the production stoppage.

Members of the Committee of the Postal Service Trade Union prevented from entering the union premises because of alleged fire20-10-2016

On 20 October 2016, the head of the Committee of Postal Service Trade Union Workers, Ms. Marina Razmadze, tried to enter the room dedicated to trade union activities located in the office of Georgian Post. She then discovered that the room was locked and the printer with the papers inside was slightly burnt. She was later informed by the security service that the night before the guards burst into the trade union room to allegedly suppress a fire.

There was no evident sign of fire in the room except for the printer being a little burnt and, according to an appraisal made by workers the same day, the electric circuit was not damaged. Workers eventually repaired the trade union room lock in order to allow the normal continuation of trade union activity, as well as the protection of all documentation stored in the room.

However, on 25 October, Ms. Razmadze was informed about Order No. 15-01/533, issued the previous day by the general director of the Georgian Post Office, Mr. Levan Chikvaidze. According to the Order, a commission needed to be created to release temporarily the trade union’s room from equipment in order to reconstruct it, even though no time period for execution of the Order was indicated. Ms. Razmadze pointed out that the Order was defective, as it did not protect the documentation and supplies in the trade union’s room. However, despite her proposal that the trade union renovate the room, the management ordered that it should be cleared when Ms. Razmadze was not in the office. The trade union’s activity was paralysed with no timeframe for the renovation activity confirmed, which undermined the right to freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
in practice.

British Petroleum management and its Human Resources Recruitment Agency (HRRA) brought to court for anti-union discrimination 28-10-2016

A BP pipeline union was formed in 2015 after the company refused to offer to its Georgian workers the same terms and conditions applied to other BP workers in the neighboring countries of Azerbaijan and Turkey. After the creation of the trade union, BP and HRRA management continuously discouraged the workers’ affiliation, including with unlawful behaviour. The country manager, Chris Schlueter, sent an email to all the workers inviting them to refrain from unionising and the company organised “friendly talks” with the sole aim of creating an anti-union climate and threatening workers in a subtle way. As a result of this anti-union campaign by BP and HRRA, the majority of members left the union, bringing the number of affiliates down from 30 to 10.

The anti-union behaviour of the enterprise continued with a disciplinary action resulting in a “reorganisation” dismissal against the deputy chair of the pipeline union, Mr. Vakhtang Pirmisashvili. Mr. Pirmisashvili presented his complaint at a civil court after a mediation mediation A process halfway between conciliation and arbitration, in mediation a neutral third party assists the disputing parties in reaching a settlement to an industrial dispute by suggesting possible, non-binding solutions.

See arbitration, conciliation
attempt by the Labour Ministry failed. It is the first time that a Georgian court has accepted jurisdiction to examine a case regarding the legitimacy of a dismissal on discrimination grounds because of trade union activity.

Police violently disperse workers of a chemical factory in Georgia02-02-2017

On 2 February 2017, the Trade Union of Metallurgy, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers of Georgia (TUMMCIWG) called a protest in support of the 350 workers of the fertiliser plant “Rustavi Azot” who were illegally fired. Workers affiliated to other unions, as well as students and NGOs, joined the protest demanding the reinstatement of the workers (who had received no response for more than a week from management to their demands for clarification about the reasons for their dismissal). In response, the workers called a protest during which they entered the management’s office in order to receive explanations about the unlawful dismissal and to try to find solutions to the conflict. However, as protesters approached the building, the guards tried to prevent them by using force. Immediately afterwards, a large number of police officers surrounded the building and violence broke out. According to eyewitnesses, police beat the workers, disregarding their age or gender, and continued to do so even when workers started to leave the building.

On the same day, a four-hour meeting took place among the Ministry of Labour and the representatives of dismissed workers, including the president of the Georgian Trade Union Confederation – Irakli Petriashvili - but no agreement was found and, therefore, the protest continued. As a result of these protests, the dismissed workers received severance pay of three monthly payments of 500 GEL (US$185) and their total number was limited. However, the Rustavi Azot enterprise continued to exacerbate the situation and break the law by forcing the remaining workers to sign a new contract under duress. This new contract severely undermined working conditions, transformed the contracts from open-ended to one-year contracts and imposed an obligation on the remaining workers to perform additional duties.

Trade union secretary dismissed by Public Broadcaster because he created a union 28-02-2017

In May 2016, with the support of the Georgia Trade Union Confederation (GTUC), a trade union was created in the public broadcasting station, “Public Broadcaster”. The union gathered together both journalists and technical personnel (camera men, operators, etc.) and, shortly after its creation, Mr. Lasha Meskhi was appointed as its secretary.

Mr. Meskhi, together with the affiliates, initiated a labour dispute labour dispute See industrial dispute regarding various issues, including the need for an increase in salaries, protection of labour rights and the improvement of Occupation Safety and Health (OSH) standards within the enterprise. In order to facilitate adequate implementation and the collective dispute collective dispute See industrial dispute procedure, a state mediator was appointed by the Minister of Labour, Health Care and Social Protection, and GTUC provided adequate assistance through a lawyer and an economist to better advocate for workers’ rights. During this negotiation process, Mr. Meskhi was often threatened by the management to stop his trade union activities and to avoid involving GTUC affiliates in acts of protest. Despite this intimidating behaviour, on 21 June 2016 an agreement was finally reached, granting a salary increase to more than 500 workers, as well as the alleged creation of a bipartite commission for the resolution of labour disputes and the involvement of trade unions in the process of preparing a new human resources action plan. However, the management did not implement these measures. Furthermore, Mr. Meskhi and 13 colleagues had to sign a three-month short-term contract after several years of continuous work and, after its expiration, another one-month contract. The latter contract was signed in breach of the law regarding use of such short-term contracts. Mr. Meskhi highlighted the illegal nature of the contracts and, as a response, the enterprise announced on 28 February 2017 that Mr. Meskhi’s contract would not be renewed unlike those of his 13 colleagues. Therefore, it is clear that the non-renewal of the contract was an act of retaliation and discrimination against Mr. Meskhi, as well as a response to his trade union activity and his proactive denouncement of the enterprise’s abuses.

Anti-union discrimination continues at RMG Gold 30-09-2015

Anti-union discrimination anti-union discrimination Any practice that disadvantages a worker or a group of workers on grounds of their past, current or prospective trade union membership, their legitimate trade union activities, or their use of trade union services. Can constitute dismissal, transfer, demotion, harassment and the like.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework

and intimidation continued at RMG Gold in Kazreti, following the company’s attempts to destroy the union by forcing nearly 1,000 individuals to leave, as reported in the Survey in March 2015.
On 30 September 2015 representatives of the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation (GTUC), along with leaders of the Metallurgy, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers’ Trade Union, visited Kazreti to meet with local employees, to investigate reports of continued intimidation and to try to rebuild the union. The town itself is virtually controlled by RMG Gold, with most of the population employed by the company.

On an earlier visit to the town by two GTUC staff members, RMG Gold security guards followed them around taking pictures. The residents were scared to speak to them in case the company decided to retaliate by firing them or their family members. During the second trip on 30 September, the union representatives spoke to many people in the town, who talked of problems ranging from low wages to serious health hazards. On the first night of their visit, an RMG director tried to intimidate the union volunteers who were talking to workers at a bus stop. He also denied any health hazards or environmental pollution, claiming the cyanide used in mining gold is not the kind of cyanide that is harmful.

The second day of the visit was marred by serious interference. A public meeting had been organised to address the major problems faced by the workers and to correct the false stories spread about the union by RMG Gold. A representative from RMG Gold management, Lia Ajiashvili, disrupted proceedings before the meeting even began, honking a small horn outside the meeting venue. Later, inside the meeting, she shouted every time the union representatives tried to speak, effectively preventing them from conducting the meeting. Many of those who had come to take part left the meeting. On the previous day the workers and townspeople had aired their grievances against the company, and said they wanted to organise to improve their working conditions, but faced with the aggressive stand by the RMG representative, they no longer dared air those views to a wider audience.

Attempt to undermine independent union:19-06-2015

Georgia Railway has been giving bonuses to workers who join the employer-supported yellow union yellow union A union set up and/or controlled by the employer to prevent the establishment of a genuine trade union. . For example, Zurab Nasaria received a much higher bonus than other workers in April 2014. Managers openly encourage workers to revoke their membership from the Railway Workers New Trade Union (RWNTUG). Due to the pressure by management, many workers have left the union. Management has also sought to undermine the union by delaying or overcomplicating the remittance of union dues.

Acts of interference at RMG Gold and RMG Copper:19-06-2015

The companies RMG Gold and RMG Copper engaged in serious acts of interference in order to undermine the Trade Union of Metallurgy, Mining and Chemistry Workers of Georgia (TUMMCWG). The companies coerced some 1,000 members of TUMMCWG to renounce their union membership. This began immediately after TUMMCWG urged management to fulfill its legal obligations under the collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
agreement which was signed on 23 March 2014 following a 40-day strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
. In response, management forced employees to sign pre-printed resignation letters.

General Director of the Georgian Post violates collective agreement18-09-2014

After Levan Chikvaidze was appointed general director of the “Georgian Post”, he dismissed more than 120 workers and replaced them with friends and relatives. Workers with fixed-term contracts often had to accept one-month contracts instead of one-year or two-year contracts they had previously. This is a violation of a valid collective agreement. As a result, the Trade Union of the Workers of the Postal Service launched a complaint with the Tbilisi City Court. In retaliation for the court case, Levan Chikvaidze started to target union members by not renewing their fixed-term contracts.

Tbilisi City Hall refuses to bargain24-06-2013

On 24 January 2013, workers at the Agency of the extraordinary situations of the Tbilisi City Hall established a trade union. However, management refuses to recognise the union for collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
purposes. The Director of the agency asked the head of divisions to examine the work performance of the union members. Moreover, union members are called to meet individually with managers who pressure them to leave the union. As a result, members expressed that they prefer paying dues directly to the union and keeping their membership secret from management because of fear of discrimination.

Interrogation18-09-2014

On 20 February, Guladi Kruashvili, Deputy Head of the General Train Safety Movement General Inspection in Teaching and Instruction sector, interrogated members of the New Railway Trade Union about their books and took them to Zestafoni where they were again interrogated together with other union members. The trade unionists were forced to sign certain documents. This was not the first time Kruashvili harassed union members. Previously, he interrogated union members working for the Service of Western Power Supply at an unknown location. The New Railway Trade Union applied to the Prosecutor`s Office regarding the above-mentioned facts.

Senior management at Georgian Railway intervenes in union elections16-06-2013

In October 2012, workers organised a 2-hour token strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
calling for better working conditions at Georgian Railway which was run by acting General Director Oleg Bichashvili at the time. In a meeting with the strikers committee in March 2013 he announced that the company would only be willing to sign a collective agreement if the Railway Workers Trade Union agreed to disaffiliate from the GTUC. The union decided to convene an extraordinary Congress on 9 June 2013. At this stage senior management intervened in the election of the union president and campaigned for the election of Hamlet Lomidze. Managing directors such as Oleg Bichashvili, Davit Gelashvili (member of board of directors and director of the passenger transportation division of the company) and Gia Kruashvili (deputy head of the auditing department) participated in the congress as delegates. About half of the union members left the Congress in protest of this involvement. Nevertheless, Congress continued with its agenda and elected 17 members to the board of the union –none of whom are regular railway workers or ordinary representatives of the personnel. The majority of the board members are in fact senior staff and some even do not work for Georgian Railways at all. As consequence, some workers left the Railway Workers Trade Union and established a new trade union on 16 June 2013.

Anti-union discrimination18-09-2014

In 2013, trade union members working for the Agency of Extraordinary Situations were not paid bonuses and the thirteenth month salaries foreseen by the annual budget. All the employees who were not trade union members received it.

Yellow unions29-03-2013

Management at the Georgian State Postal Service established the “Union for Georgian Post Development” on 29 March 2013. This organisation is led by high ranking managers at the company and is headed by the office of the General Manager. All employees must pay monthly affiliation fees to the Union for Georgian Post Development. General manager Levan Chikvaidze wrote a letter to staff explaining the aims and objectives of the alleged union. The Trade Union of Georgian Workers of Communication complained to the Government, the Prime Minister, also to the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Labour and to the Commission on Social Dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. and Labour Relations requesting an intervention in order to stop the undermining of the independent unions by the management-controlled “union”. Despite the meetings with the Deputy Minister of Economy and the Director General of the company, leaders of the independent union independent union A trade union that is not affiliated to a national union. Can also be a union that is not dominated by an employer.

See yellow union

are still being targeted.

Anti-union discrimination at Batumi Autotransport18-09-2014

The Batumi Autotransport is a company owned by the municipality of Batumi and has been involved in discriminatory practices against trade union members. Management threatens workers with dismissal if they do not sign statements of withdrawal. Under such pressure the workers started to submit their withdrawals from the trade union. The head of security and maintenance regularly calls the union president to come to his office and receive withdrawal statements from union members. Moreover, management has been refusing to recognise the union for collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
purposes. Mangers attack union members verbally, such as in the case of the driver Felul Tsintsadze, whose managers accused him of being a bandit. Union President Emzar Gogitidze and his deputy Simon Sikharulidze were threatened with dismissal on several occasions. Union leaders met the mayor of Batumi in order to complain about the practices in the company.

Anti-union discrimination at the Black Sea Terminal31-07-2013

On 3 November 2012, about 150 workers at Black Sea Terminal sent a petition to management asking to renegotiate their terms of employment. Management reacted by intimidating the workers and calling them to individual meetings where they were threatened with dismissals. Kartlos Jobava was forced to take his annual leave and seven workers were locked out of the company and at the same time forced to sign new contracts with a 6-month probation term, even though they have had permanent contracts with the company for several years. Management argued the changes were needed as part of the restructuring of the company. Workers therefore decided to establish a union; this was met with anger by management, which pressured workers to leave the union. Even though the Commission on Social Dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. and Labour Relations was informed and intervened, the conflict has worsened. In response to the arbitrary dismissals, workers went on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 20 December 2012, ending the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
when the workers were reinstated. However, on 31 January 2013, union president Karlos Jobava’s employment contract was not renewed. The Poti District Court upheld this this decision and did not find any discrimination based on union membership. The Georgian Gas and Oil Workers’ Union appealed to the Government, the Prime Minister, Minister of Economy, Minister of Labour and the Commission on Social Dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. and Labour Relations, asking for an intervention in order to end discrimination against union members at the Black Sea Terminal.

Anti-union discrimination at the GTM Group27-07-2013

On 25 July 2013, a trade union affiliated to the Metallurgical, Mining and Chemical Industry Trade Union was established at the GTM Group. Management was informed about the establishment of the union on the same day. Director General Avtandil Kochadze announced that the fixed-term contracts of the union leaders would not be renewed and immediately dismissed three union members: Zaza Zibzibadze, Manuchar Liluashvili and Zurab Khvedelidze. Management alleged that the reason for the dismissal was a violation of work rules on 27 April 2013. However, disciplinary measures had already been taken against the workers in this regard and no infringements had been alleged after this incident. Workers also witnessed Avtandil Kochadze taking photos of the personnel coming from and going into the union’s regional office. On 27 July 2013, Avtandil Kochadze called Zaza Mchedlidze, President of the trade union, to his office to abuse him verbally and dismiss him. Unions filed a complaint with the Office of Prosecutor General and against Kochadze. The Metallurgical, Mining and Chemical Industry Trade Union brought this issue to the attention of the Prime Minister, Minister of Economy, Minister of Labour and to the Commission on Social Dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. and Labour Relations. The response they received was that the government could not intervene into the affairs of private businesses.

Anti-union discrimination at Geosteel22-06-2013

Workers at Geosteel have been trying to establish a union at their workplace but have been facing resistance by management for many years. Following a five-day strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
in December 2012, an agreement was signed between the union and management on 29 December 2012 , including a clause guaranteeing that workers who participated in the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
action would not face any sanctions. However, soon after the agreement was reached, Davit Maisuradze was dismissed for his participation in the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
. The Metallurgical, Mining and Chemical Industry Trade Union immediately made a request to management demanding his reinstatement. The request is still pending. On 22 January 2013, the founding meeting of the union took place and workers elected a trade union committee, secretariat and auditing commission. Right after this meeting, management refused to renew employment contracts of union members and dismissed other workers who had participated in December strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
. Moreover, managers threatened workers who intended to join the union with dismissal and non-renewal of fixedterm contracts. The union petitioned the government several times , including the Minister of Economy, Minister of Labour and members of the Commission on Social Dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. and Labour Relations, which was established in October 2012. However, the workers have still not been reinstated and no effective measures were put in place in order to put an end to discriminatory practices at Geosteel.

Physical attacks27-07-2013

Workers have been physically attacked or threatened on a number of occasions. Tedo Gurgenadze, a head member of the union board of in a Black Sea Terminal LTD “B and P” in the city of Poti, and his comrades were threatened during the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
action in late November 2013. On 27 July 2013, Avtandil Kochadze, the General Director of the “GTM Group” summoned Zaza Mchedlidze, President of the trade union, to his office, verbally abused him and tried to attack him physically.

Due process18-09-2014
Lack of consultation18-09-2014

On 12 June 2013, Parliament introduced amendments to the Labour Code of Georgia. Workers were initially involved in consultations concerning the draft legislation. Thus the first draft adopted on 16 May 2013 was in compliance with international labour standards international labour standards Principles and norms related to labour matters, primarily codified in the Conventions and the Recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Include core labour rights such as freedom of association and the right to organise, the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike, which are all covered by ILO Conventions 87 and 98.

See ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
. However, afterwards the government continued consultations only with employers. Workers were only informed after the changes were agreed upon. Moreover, the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs prepared a draft law on labour inspection labour inspection An authority responsible for ensuring compliance with labour laws and legal provisions relating to protection of workers through the inspection of workplaces. without involving the GTUC.

Anti-union practices18-05-2014

Merab Targamadze (deputy president of Georgian Railway Workers New Trade Union, GRWNTU) and Davit Vashakidze (member of the board of GRWNTU) were threatened by high rank representatives of the Georgian Railway Management on 14 November 2014.

Zaza Mchedlidze, President of the Trade Union office at GTM Group was threatened by the GTM General Director Avtandil Kochadze and finally dismissed on 27 July 2013. Management was opposed to establishment of a union in the company and was dismissing union leaders in an effort to crush the movement. Two other members of the union committee, Manuchar Liluashvili and Zurab Khvedelidze, were dismissed on 25 July 2013.

JSC Silknet is a telecommunications firm in...31-12-2012

JSC Silknet is a telecommunications firm in Georgia. In the past year, the company has dismissed the Chairs of 19 trade union committees in Tbilisi and in the regions. A letter was submitted to the Chair of the Tripartite Social Partnership Committee on July 20, 2012 regarding the dismissals but the case has yet to be reviewed. The Government has used the collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
agreement concluded with this company as an example of successful social dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. and partnership. However, after the departure of the manager in charge of the negotiations, the situation quickly deteriorated. The company refuses to engage in any dialogue with the union. In 2012, the number of trade union members in the Communication Sector Workers Union fell by 37.7 per cent.

Public servants31-08-2011

In August 2011, as a result of interference by central and local governments, 14 city and district level organisations of the Public Servants Trade Union ceased to exist – amounting to a loss of 2,350 members. Territorial agreements in 4 district municipalities were terminated and 4 expired. Only one territorial agreement is now in effect. Earlier in 2011, union members who had recently organised unions at municipal level were forced to sign forms resigning from the union, under threat of dismissal, resulting in the loss of hundreds of members. In private conversations with the union leaders, local authorities admitted that there had been a verbal order from high level government officials to eradicate the local unions.

Hospital sector16-08-2013

The hospital sector is now controlled by two companies - JSC Aldagi BCI and JSC GPI Holding. These new owners of privatised hospitals and polyclinics have refused to negotiate with unions and actively intimidate any staff cooperating with trade unions. Many medical workers have withdrawn from trade unions because of a fear of dismissal. 116 trade union organisations (45 per cent) have ceased to exist and membership has fallen by 7,968 (41 per cent). Furthermore, 32 collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
agreements were terminated and not a single new collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
agreement has been concluded. JSC Aldagi BCI has simply refused to recognise the unions. JSC GPI Holding recognises the union but does not negotiate in good faith. Consequently, industrial relations industrial relations The individual and collective relations and dealings between workers and employers at the workplace, as well as the institutional interaction between unions, employers and also the government.

See social dialogue
have ceased to function in the hospital sector.

Anti-union discrimination in the railway sector31-12-2011

On 8 April 2011, in Khasuri, Ms Gocha Chubinidze, the head of the Carriage Depot of the Georgian State Railways advised delegates not to attend the Railway Workers Trade Union Congress and threatened them with dismissal. Also in Khashuri, the Head of the Rail Track Department, Mr Zaza Chkoidze, threatened 8 delegates with dismissal if they attended the Congress. The Head of the Railway Station, Mr Vasil Kurtanidze, threatened one of the 2 delegates with dismissal if he attended the Congress. On the morning of 10 April, when delegates from Khashuri were in the station to attend the Congress, unknown persons came and tried to convince delegates not to go. As a result, some delegates did not go to the congress. Indeed, only 9 delegates out of 24 attended the Congress from that region. Only 15 out of 38 elected delegates from the Samtredia region attended the Congress. In Tbilisi a few days before the Congress the delegates in the Rail-track Department and also in the Carriage-Exploitation Department were threatened by representatives of the Georgian Railway’s administration. On June 22, 2011, Merab Targamadze, a board member of the Georgian Railway Workers Union, was fired by the administration without prior notice. In December 2011, under the pretext of a reorganisation, Vitali Giorgadze, one of the most active members of the board of the Railway trade union, was dismissed.

Other members of the board were also subjected to continuous pressure and the majority have ceased their activity.

Union busting in the metal sector30-09-2011
Refusal to bargain in good faith and interference by employers07-02-2013

In October 2012, the trade union committee of the “Telasi” LLC announced that they were going on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
because management refused to bargain with the workers. As a result, 73 employees who had been dismissed were reinstated in December 2012.

The Georgian Manganese Company in Chiatura city refused to bargain with the Trade Union of Metallurgy, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers of Georgia over pay increases, safer working conditions, and the dismissal of the production manager, Akaki Gurjidze, who was accused of making salary deductions. As a result the workers went on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
in October 2012. Local authorities met with Georgian Manganese management on 18 October but no agreement was reached. Management is also accused of creating the “Samtoeli” union in order to undermine the establishment of independent trade unions.

On 7 February 2013, a meeting was held between principals of public schools in Kutaisi and Taras Shavshishvili, Deputy Chief of the Teachers’ Professional Development Center (TPDC). Shavshishvili is also the founder of the Syndicate union. He warned that they would face problems with the internal audit department of the Ministry of Education and Science if they decided to leave Syndicate and join Educations and Scientist Free Trade Union of Georgia (ESFTUG).

No protection against anti-union discrimination10-12-2010

Although anti-union discriminationis prohibited in Georgian legislation, courts do not apply these provisions. Under the Labour Code the employer has the right to terminate an employment contract for any or no reason and without giving advance notice. The Law on Trade Unions has not been abrogated and is formally in force, but Article 23 of the Law, which states that employers can dismiss employees elected as chairpersons of trade union organisations only with the consent of the union, is ignored in practice. The GTUC estimates that union membership decreased by more than 100,000 people since the adoption of the Labour Code because of lack of protection against anti-union discrimination anti-union discrimination Any practice that disadvantages a worker or a group of workers on grounds of their past, current or prospective trade union membership, their legitimate trade union activities, or their use of trade union services. Can constitute dismissal, transfer, demotion, harassment and the like.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework

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