The Georgian Trade Unions Confederation participates in the 112th Conference of the International Labor Organization

The Georgian Trade Unions Confederation, under the leadership of Irakli Petriashvili, participates in the 112th annual conference of the International Labor Organization. The delegation from the trade unions is represented by: Chairman of the Union – Irakli Petriashvili, Deputies: Raisa Liparteliani and Tamar Surmava, Chairman of the Professional Union of Metropolitan Workers – Besik Kharatishvili, Chairman of the Professional Union of Metallurgical, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers – Temur Suramelashvili, Deputy Chairman of the Professional Union of Builders and Forestry Workers – Shota Javakhadze.

The state delegation, in addition to the trade unions, is represented by the members of the Government of Georgia and the Association of Georgian Employers. The event takes place in the period of June 3-14, in the city of Geneva, Switzerland.

This year, the ILO Standards Committee, on the basis of the report and initiative of the Association of Professional Unions of Georgia, discussed the issue of Georgia among the 25 states where ILO standards are violated the most. Georgia was included in the list due to the challenges related to the implementation of the 100th ILO Convention – “On equal pay for women and men”.

In particular, in the labor market, the participation of only 40.5% of women of working age in terms of economic activity represents a gender wage gap. The difference between the average salaries of women and men as of 2022 was 31.7%. The mentioned difference is characterized by a tendency to decrease over the years, however, the decrease has slowed down in the last three years.

 

➢ According to the data of the Department of Statistics of Georgia, the corrected wage gap was 23% as of 2022.

➢ Wages are traditionally the lowest in the areas where the most women are employed, for example in the education sector where the average salary is 39% lower than the average salary in the country.

➢ To date, there is no definition of equal pay for work of equal value for women and men in the legislation of Georgia, as well as methodology for evaluating/measuring the value of work, which prevents the implementation of the legislation; Therefore, it is not surprising that neither the court nor the Labor Inspection Service has a single case where the gender pay gap issue has been studied.

➢ In the future, the wage gap will also create a gender-based pension gap, as Georgia has already switched to the accumulated pension scheme for years.

➢ We still do not have a decent minimum wage, which is the most important tool for preventing and reducing the wage gap.

➢ Social dialogue is not developed.

 

During the consideration of the issue by the ILO Standards Committee, the position of the trade unions and the above-mentioned recommendations set by it were fully supported by the trade union organizations of various countries, as well as the representatives of governments and employers: from Belgium, Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway, etc. Among them, it should be noted that for the first time the recommendations of trade unions in relation to Georgia were shared by the spokesperson of employers (ACT/EMPs).

The Georgian Trade Unions Organization  once again emphasized the measures to be taken by Georgia to eliminate the salary gap, for which, it is necessary, with the involvement of social partners:

➢ In the labor legislation of Georgia, the term should be clarified and the principle of equal pay for work of equal value should be determined.

➢ Create labor cost estimation/measurement methodology.

➢ Create and implement effective regulations for pay transparency systems.

➢ To develop a standard of decent pay for “maternity leave” for all employees.

➢ Establish a decent minimum wage in accordance with international labor standards, which takes into account the economic factors of employees and their families, including the current level of economic development based on social dialogue; the mechanism of annual amendment/revision of the minimum wage.

While discussing the issue, the government indicated that Georgia will continue to implement positive changes in labor legislation and practice and is already working on implementing the recommendations of the supervisory committee.

The Standards Committee will adopt the resolution related to Georgia on June 13 of this year. We hope that it will fully reflect the recommendations agreed upon at the committee meeting.