16 / 05 / 2011
To: Government of Georgia
Parliament of Georgia
Society of Georgia
Georgian Trade Unions’ confederation
A p p e a l
more spring came to Georgia. The diligent Georgian people have gone through the
one more harsh winter with immense
humane and financial losses. Against the background of raging inflation and
ongoing and never ending increasing of prices for consumer goods- public
servants, teachers, power specialists, railway workers, miners, metallurgists,
chemists, doctors, builders, workers engaged in the fields of communication,
transportation, service, sport and culture-at the cost of personal sacrifice
have done their utmost and guaranteed smooth functioning of the Georgian State,
produced essential products and provided adequate services. Again, thanks to
patience of the working man and women, their boundless love and devotion toward
their homeland and their families, social peace has been maintained in our
country. Against the background of the degrading labor legislation and
disrespectful treatment of the working people, the Georgian Government and many
unscrupulous businessman have tested the nerves and patience of the citizens of
the level and depth of the competence of the Government of Georgia and its
attitude and sense of solidarity toward
its own fellow citizens, devoted and
diligent working man and women, have been tested. Unfortunately, like in the
previous years, the Authorities have failed to pass the test. It should be
noted, that this process is still going on against the background of
constructive and well-intended critiques
coming from the Georgian Trade Unions’ Confederation (GTUC), accompanied by
frank advises and recommendations from
our countries closest friends: The United States of America, the
European Union (as an Organization and its member States) as well as the
International Labor Organization, the
Council of Europe and others. All the aforementioned notwithstanding, the
Georgian Government deems it more appropriate and important to stubbornly
continue the implementation of pseudo liberal policy instead of changing the
discriminatory labor legislation and stopping persecution of Labor activists
protecting their legitimate rights.
It is a
rather unfortunate fact that as a result of pursuing unreasonable policy and
reforms in real life, what we have
today is the following: economic crises, catastrophic inflation rate, ever
increasing and unprecedented State debt and taxes, budget deficit large-scale
impoverishment of the population. However, all the aforementioned turned out
not to be concerning enough to be considered by the Government as a warning and
alarming signal. “Thanks” to the unreasonable social-economic policy pursued by
the Georgian government, Georgian population further impoverished approximately
by 15%, hundreds of workers perished and maimed on the working places due to
irresponsibility of employers who failed to provide elementary safety and
security on working places, thousands of workers have been illegally fired and
doomed to impoverishment or leaving the country.
initiatives coming from the Trade Unions aiming at respecting and protecting
workers’ rights, improvement social policy and providing better healthcare for
the population, improving the position of Georgian business in international
trade environment and creating additional jobs, have been regularly ignored by
the Authorities. Meanwhile, even partial materialization of these initiatives
would have substantially strengthened stability in the country, alleviate the
abject poverty, our people would have felt themselves as free and dignified
citizens, which is the most important principle of true liberalism. However, unfortunately, thanks to the
Georgian mass media, divided by the Authorities and opposition political
forces, purely neo-Bolshevik activities are presented are presented as
masterpieces of honorable liberal policies.
is no ending to the facts of gross violation on the part of state bureaucrats
and majority of employers of fundamental principles of liberal democracy,
namely, freedom of association. The Georgian Trade Unions’ Confederation,
together with the international community and diplomatic missions, have been
long waiting to receive answers to the following question:
When will be the current Labor
Code changed and ungrounded and unfair firing of workers stopped?
When will the government come
to appreciate the necessity of unconditional indexation of people impoverished
as a result of high inflation?
When will 8-hour working day
become necessary employment condition ?
When the workers employed in
Georgia will be allowed to participate in negotiations to define fair amount of salary through collective
How long the workers will have
to endure degrading 2-week, 1-month, 3 month, 1-year and similar blackmailing
labor contacts, both in private and public sector?
How long will the Government
continue justifying the necessity of short-term contract by applying the lame argument of easing doing
the business in Georgia?
When will Mr. Dimitry Shashkin,
Minister of Education and Science, stop illegally intervening into the
activities of Free Trade Union of Teachers and persecuting the for the sole
reason that teachers are applying their rights guaranteed by the Constitution?
How long will the management of
the Georgian Railways continue hampering the work of Railway trade Union, the
policy of blackmailing and intimidation of Union activists engaged in this
When will the work of people
engaged in public sector become genuinely free and respected and the fate and
well-being of public servants and their family members not dependent on the
whim of new bureaucrats who came to the agency with their “own team”?
long the government continue the policy of wasting money spent on re-training
of employees and experience and skills accumulated by the in the course of
the government will change its repressive attitude towards doctors, nurses and
sanitary personnel and will give them chance to freely work, deepen their
knowledge and improve their professional skills?
will the government treat the issue of development of agriculture seriously and
when it will stop persecuting trade union members active in this field?
will the work of journalist be adequately appreciated, when the time comes that
they will not any longer be fired for telling the truth, for protecting their
legitimate interests and for their attempts to create trade unions?
the government will stop hampering the process of collecting trade union
membership fees and intervening in the process of using the collected fees?
will be extra hour work fairly paid for, as it is provided for in the European
Social Charter ratified by Georgia?
will be the hazardous and risky for health job adequately appreciated and paid
will be the families of those workers who were killed and maimed on the working
places given adequate and fair compensation without lengthy and degrading court
will be the process of investigation of job-related trauma cases and job
related illnesses start and representatives of trade unions allowed to
participate in them without any hindrance?
will the government make a decision to provide women on maternity leave with
adequate and fair compensation?
20. When will the process of wasting state
property on low-quality insurance service be stopped?
will be the people under poverty line
provided for with adequate and socially valuable monetary allowance?
will be the pensioners provided with the promised pension equal to 100 US
they will be allowed to use social infrastructure on privileged terms?
23. When will be the unemployed people supported
by the Georgian State through effective vocational training and monetary
the Georgian labor market will turn into functioning institution?
the Georgian economy will be based on market economy principles and not
dependent on monopolies?
country’s journey to well-being of the society, true democracy and
strengthening of its independence are contingent on the development of civil society.
It is common knowledge, that middle class
is the unity of free people who
have dignified jobs. In all developed, free and liberal societies, trade unions
are defenders of middle class interests and its support.
110 years ago, on May 1, here, in the surroundings of Tbilisi Salty Lakes, the
same demands were voiced. Among the demands put forward by the workers of
Tbilisi Railway, the Adelkhanov Leather factory and workers from different factories and plants, the issues of setting
up trade unions and 8 -hour working day
were the hottest issues. We do hope that unlike the Government, which was under
the dominance of Russia’s Tsar Imperialism and therefore serving Russian
interests, the current government will be more attentive and responsive to our
demands. If the current government elaborates more adequate approach in terms
of understanding the root causes of the current tensions, it will be able to
avoid cataclysm that occurred back in 1917.
essential, that instead of belittling the importance of tripartite commission,
the government should help promote the process of developing and turning the
Commission into a viable institution. The Georgian Trade Unions is firm in its
belief that without frank and constructive dialogue between the partners, it
would be impossible step-by-step solution of the abovementioned problems.
at the 1 May, 2011 Trade Union Manifestation, Tbilisi, territory of Salt Lakes