After two days of rallies and protests by waste workers, Tbilisi city council agreed to increase the salaries of employees of the Tbilservice waste management company from January 2022 and to solve a range of other issues by the end of August. The trade union of services, banks and utilities negotiated a number of measures relating to the inviolability of the protesters; cancellation of planned changes to work schedules; granting of employee insurance from 1 January 2022; additional paid leave to 24 working days; update of special clothes provision; and upgrading of vehicles.
Respect for trade union rights, collective bargaining and social dialogue part of our democratic values – say North East European constituency unions
The EPSU affiliates of North East Europe expressed their concerns about developments in the region in the online meeting of the North East European constituency on 3 March. They received information about the situation in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.
The changes to the labour codes, reform of social protection and health systems and the experience with privatization were some of the issues addressed by the union leaders of the constituency.
The Georgian Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the government's ratification of the International Labour Organisation convention on tripartite consultation. The GTUC says that it had been pushing for this for many years and it should now provide the basis to develop social dialogue in the country. However, unions there continue to face major challenges not least the failure of the government to re-establish an effective labour inspection regime. Some 460 workers have died and 796 have been injured since the labour inspectorate was abolished in 2006.
(December 2016) To coincide with a meeting of the EU-Georgia Association Council, trade unions have raised a wide range of concerns on social issues. In particular, unions want to see a much higher minimum wage set by law and with proper enforcement mechanisms. The current minimum wage is extremely low with no real labour inspectorate to ensure implementation.
The EU−Georgia Association Council will take place on 2 December 2016 in Brussels. It evaluates progress in the relations between the EU and Georgia and in particular with the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.
The Georgian Trade Union Confederation (GTUC) has welcomed positive statements from the government about setting up a labour inspectorate but warns it will pull out of talks if the proposed agency is not given any real enforcement powers. Meanwhile, the GTUC has been critical of the new labour code's provisions on working time. The labour code sets a 40-hour working week but a 48-hour week for "special regimes". The problem is that the government has listed the sectors that may be covered by this category and the GTUC argues that this opens up virtually the whole of the economy to having a 48
EPSU-PSI LetterEPSU and PSI have written to the Labour Ministry and authorities in Tbilisi to protest about the employment and working conditions of firefighters. Firefighters have been mounting protests since 12 February and some have started a hunger strike. Among the firefighter demands are: dismissal of the Director of the Emergency and Urgent Services Agency; an end to persecution of elected union leaders and intimidation of union members; annulment of the termination of employment of the workers who have been fired on the basis of false accusations; and improvement of working conditions
Following general elections last year, the new government has taken some steps towards improving the labour code. The code had been changed in 2003 leaving it providing few protections for workers or trade unions. Unfortunately, the revised code still includes unreasonable restrictions on the right to strike, while working hours, maternity protection and compensation for overtime and night work are insufficiently regulated. The Georgian trade union movement was consulted over changes but some key amendments were withdrawn following lobbying by national and international employer organisations