Trade unions in the fashion industry – labour rights protests have yielded the results
14 / 04 / 2022
With the support of the EU project – “Equal Inclusive and Safe Work Environment in Georgia”, a presentation was held on the establishment of trade unions in the field of fashion.
Raisa Liparteliani, Deputy Chairman of the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation, explains that if until now the employees in the field of fashion did not know anything about their legal status and consequently the application was not recorded now everything has changed. Most importantly problematic issues are resolved in their favor.
“The first and most open conversation about the labour rights of employees in the fashion industry began last spring. This was the first precedent in Georgia when an organization was established in this field. The presentation was supported by the EU project “Equal Inclusive and Safe Work Environment in Georgia” and finally a kind of improvement in their rights is that agencies are slowly starting to think about the terms of the employment contract and no longer look as cabal as it used to. Since the organization was founded and it has been made public, too many models have begun to fight for their rights. If in previous years such referrals were not actually observed in the practice of our organization, now the referrals are growing day by day. In most cases, we are fortunate to be able to resolve the issue in their favor, ”said the deputy chairman of the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation.
The article, “Cable Conditions Revised as a Result of the Protests – Models Forming Trade Unions to Protect Labour Rights”, prepared by “EU Georgia”, clearly shows the problems in the fashion industry and at the same time clearly shows what the trade union is doing to protect the labour rights of its employees.
Talking to them, model Anna Gava says, that the fight for her and her colleagues’ rights began after one of the models was removed from the show by the organizer of Fashion Week in May last year for protesting against working during the curfew and asking the employer to provide transportation. There were a lot of problems before, but the models had a hard time dealing with all this individually and were not brave enough to raise their voices without accomplices in the first place.
“Then, a few girls came together. We wanted to protect our rights and for this purpose we create an appropriate platform. We had a hard time organizing all this alone. Later several organizations contacted us and offered to help. “It made the process easier for us,” said Anna, who now chairs the Fashion Workers’ Union.
You can watch the video and article prepared by “EU for Georgia” at this link.
Based on the appeal of the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation and The Trade Union of Employees in the Fashion Industry, in December 2021, the Labour Inspection Service inspected modeling agencies to oversee the protection of the labour rights of employees/models.
- The inspection revealed a number of systematic violations of labour rights by modeling agencies.
- Numerous statements have been made by the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation about the violation of the rights of employees in the fashion industry.
- Due to gross violation of labour rights, occupational safety standards and discriminatory treatment, the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation have provided legal assistance to dozens of models.
- With the help of the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation, a number of models were able to terminate cabal contracts with modeling agencies, which provided for colossal (up to GEL 50,000) fines, including for underage employees.