Tkibuli’s new life
02 / 08 / 2018
‘’ I would like to respond once again to the tragedy that happened in Tkibuli and to refer to the fact that the job accident on the 16th of July of this year in the mine named “Mindeli” was due to the incorrect and inconsistent policy that was implemented by the state.
The authority granted to me by the trade unions, despite the fact that I have repeatedly raised the issue to governmental institutions, unfortunately, to this day there is no relevant thorough legislation on workers’ rights, also regulations related to the safety of workers, that are compliant to international standards on labour regulations. There is a lack of labour standards and a lack of an enforcement mechanism such as effective labour inspections.
I state that through our initiative invited international Labour Organization’s experts, before they reached the conclusion about the situation of the work carried out in the coal mines, drew the conclusion that workers should be fully compensated for the period of enterprise idling. The relevant funding should also be allocated from the state funds, in order to on the one hand, for the company to determine the required state participation in financial-economic expenditures for the modernization of mines, and on the other hand, the social security of the employees and their families, as well as to maintain participation in the social-cultural activities in the city.
Once again, I declare that the works in mines should be renewed and the workers should be allowed to return to the mines only after the modernization of machinery and implementation of modern standards of labour organization is completed.
In the shortest possible time, the government must prepare a plan to completely modernize Tkibuli’s mines and the city’s socio-economic development, which we requested from the Prime Minister on April 6, and also on April 19th of this year at the Session of the Tripartite Commission on Social Partnership, which was initiated by the trade unions, unfortunately this has not yet been considered.
It is time for the government to realize that the price of each employee’s life is much higher than the amount paid by the company as their salaries. Yes, the state is obligated, no matter the cost to protect the right to life guaranteed by the constitution for any employees. People should not be in danger of death at the cost of 700 Lari per month for finding a basic livelihood, when the annual profit of the company is 160 000 000 USD.
I think, in order to facilitate the transformation of Tkibuli as a ,, New Way Of Life City,, a socio-economic development plan for the city should be developed, with the involvement of independent experts, together with the representatives of the state & business and trade unions. The plan should include the proper functioning of a city and the socio-economic security matters related to the miners, matters such as: Unemployment compensation, insurance of miners and their families from job accidents, employment in public infrastructure works, and uninterrupted functioning of public and utility services in the city. Special attention should be paid to the provision of replacement jobs to workers and miners with new, safe and dignified jobs created by the development of other sectors of the economy, which will ensure the maintenance of Tkibuli as a sustainable city.
Once again, I emphasize the fact that Tkibuli is not just a city, but on the background of mass unemployment in the country, it should be considered as a special social project and I would welcome it if the state would review it in such a context and would not consider it as only a means of promoting business.
It is expedient to consider that as soon as possible there should be a review of the ’’Law of Georgia on State Pension and Compensation,’’ that should encompass miners, as well as their release from income tax.
Like the members of parliament, judges, firefighters and employees of law enforcement agencies, they should also receive their pension, even though that was initiated by the Trade Unions Confederation of Georgia last year in Parliament. They have not reached the official age of retirement, at the age of 55, there should be the possibility of receiving a dignified pension. This can be considered as a draft law.
We expect the Prime Minister of Georgia to respond by inviting the Social Partnership Tripartite Commission to discuss the issue of developing the complex project ” Tkibuli’s new life” in addition to the above issues.