The Austrian Government is ready to send high-ranking labour experts to Georgia and train labour inspectors in our country. The offer was made in response to the initiative of Irakli Petriashvili at the 25th anniversary of the Joint Global Development Project (WUSA) of the Austrian Government and Trade Unions today.
The conference, in which Georgia participated with TV bridge with Austria, discussed the topic of “EU borders”. The main mentor from Georgia was the chairman of the trade union, who spoke at the situation in our country in the conditions of the pandemic, the economic problems caused by COVID 19 and the crisis in which many areas and organizations found themselves, as well as labour legislation, labour safety, pension reform and minimum wage. Petriashvili has discussed the example of Georgia in the Pan-European Regional context and addressed the issues of EU-Georgia ties and cooperation. Between them, he discussed about the great positive impact that the Georgia_EU partnership has had since 2014.
The leaders of the Austrian government’s Global Development Project were interested in the political situation in Georgia before the elections, which parties are supporters and opponents of the EU and what does government’s program look like? What is the position of trade unions? What are the challenges facing employees? What is important from the point of view of employees/industry organizations? Irakli Petriashvili spoke at length about the policy and the fact that despite the blackmail of the US Chamber of Commerce and employers’ organizations, the Georgian government managed to achieve the goal set by the trade unions over the years – to make labour safe and the labour inspectorate compliant with an ILO convention. The chairman of the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation noted that given positive changes in the labour law, the political situation is as follows – unions will have to protect what has been achieved and work to address shortcomings that have not been reflected in the legislation – such as minimum wages, overtime Labour, etc.
This policy-making is due to the fact that the representative opposition parties are opposed to this type of regulation and safe labour, as well as the protection of employees’ rights. Josef Wal-Strasser, Executive Director of the Austrian Global Development Project (WUSA) , which has close ties to Georgia, recalled the “country meetings” held between the Georgia trade unions and their physical survival during the previous government. It is clear to Austrians that trade unions will never support forces that preach neoloberalism and are characterized by political demagoguery.
Wal-Strasser told the gathering community that the Austrian government and its global development project would train occupational safety specialists in Georgia, share valuable and important experience in various fields, and work to protect the position of Georgian trade unions and with the supports of the Austrian government and trade unions, a project of Austrian trade unions was formed in Georgia, which trained active citizens, employees and trade union members from different regions on important issues such as human rights, labour safety, media and communication with the public, ways and forms of legal litigation, gender issues, discrimination, etc.