Georgian Trade Unions Confederation calls on the Prime Minister
27 / 09 / 2019
the Tripartite Social Partnership Commission urgently to discuss the crisis in Tkibuli.
According to the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation, the situation in Tkibuli is extremely heavy
and requires an immediate solution. It is essential that the society and investors realize that Tkibuli
mines are more a social project rather than just a business project and it requires to use all available
resources by the state and a business sector to preserve life in the city.
It is outrageous, to reproach miners for the low salary they are getting paid as a compensation for the
forced delay, which itself is not even enough to feed their families. Delay in paying the salary that
occurs in Tkibuli in a daily basis amounts to tragedy for miners, company was not able to pay
compensation for forced delay last three weeks, which is a serious irresponsibility by their side.
We believe that there is a way out of this situation, the company must admit, that they cannot provide
safety in the mines and refuse to control it. A new investor must be selected, which will be able to
respond properly to the existing challenges in Tkibuli.
A year ago, Georgian Trade Unions Confederation demanded from the Tripartite Partnership
Commission – not to reopen work in the mines, until the expert’s conclusion confirms the safety of
working conditions in the workplace.
On the basis of the GTUC initiative, the tripartite commission jointly decided to invite a German
company for providing an expertise in the mines. It should be noted that the government received the
report back from the German company 10 months ago, marked it as a confidential one and refused to
share the content of the document even with the trade unions confederation, who was an initiator of
the expert examination, in order to reveal the existing shortcomings in the mines and to find the way
of its solution. Trade Unions Confederation assumes, that the expert conclusion is a very critical and
requires a long-term investment to ensure the safety at work in Tkibuli.
Nonetheless, GTUC believes that there is a solution – some mines should be automated, and those
where people have to work physically, the risks should be minimized.
Alternative job creation is critically important for the city. Labor force and human resources in Tkibuli
shows the potential to develop other types of businesses in the region, however, regretfully the
alternative workplaces do not exist yet. It is a fact, that the investor can not properly respond to the
existing challenges, thus he must leave the company immediately and the state must provide new
investor in Tkibuli, who will be able to invest in mines renewal, working safety and job maintenance.
Trade Unions has expressed its solidarity to the protesters from the very beginning and will stand
with them until the end, if necessary, we are ready to support the protest with all available resources,
and if our requirements would not be fulfilled, we will join the protests not only in Tkibuli, but also we
will continue the protest in front of the “GIG Group” office in Tbilisi.
Trade Unions Confederation calls on the Prime Minister, as a Chairman of Tripartite Social
Partnership Commission, to set up the meeting urgently to discuss about Tkibuli’s future, to respond
the initiatives of the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation, that covers the issues related to the labour safety and social protection of miners, retirement age, eliminating income tax and creating
alternative jobs in Tkibuli.