Georgia: Borjomi strike ends

Statement from the Trade Union of Agriculture, Trade and Industry

After 22 days of strike, on June 21, an agreement was reached between the trade unions, the employees of the Borjomi factory and the management of IDS Borjomi Georgia.

All the main demands, which were voiced by Giorgi Diasamidze, Chairman of the Trade Union of Agriculture, Trade and Industry, together with the employees during the strike period, have been met.

The factory workers who were illegally fired were reinstated in their jobs, and in addition to the workers receiving compensation, a number of issues were resolved in their favor.

In particular, as a result of the agreement between the parties:

• 2021 contracts will be automatically returned by January 1, 2023, in case no better contract is offered by that time.

• Employees with three-, six- and one-year term contracts will sign permanent contracts

• Employees fired two or three months ago due to expiration of a fixed-term contract will be reinstated in their jobs

• All employees who expressed a desire to leave the job by September 2022 will receive 6 months compensation

• IDS Borjomi Georgia undertakes to allocate a room in the factory for trade union activities

• The employer undertakes not to terminate contracts with trailer drivers who express solidarity with the strikers without unequivocal confirmation of the strike.

• The employer makes a commitment and pays the strike days at the forced deley rate

• The employer undertakes to provide employees with transport from June 2022 as before the pandemic.

• The trade union undertakes to withdraw all court sues under this agreement.

The workers at the Borjomi factory are satisfied with the results achieved and believe that justice has been restored to them.

“The agreement we signed is temporary, we will start working on a new agreement in November. If the company does not offer better terms and it is not acceptable to us, we have to go back to the contract reached after the 2021 strike, I mean a fixed salary. As of today, we are happy with what we have agreed on, though it does not end there. We will continue to work. I would like to thank the trade unions and in particular Giorgi Diasamidze, if not for this person, we would not have achieved all this. He put a lot of work and energy into the people employed in Borjomi. “Thanks to him, we have won for the second time,” said Marina Dvalashvili, an employee of the Borjomi factory.

Enforcement and control of the terms of the agreement will be carried out by the Labor Inspection Service of Georgia.

The employees were represented by the chairman of the trade union of agriculture, trade and industry and the lawyer of the union. The other side who ware involved in the negotiation process: a representative of the Georgian government, the Labor Inspection Service and the State Representative in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region.

Author: Eric Lee

Eric Lee is the founding editor of LabourStart.

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