Georgia: Government Interference in Trade Union Affairs

The ITUC has condemned a politically motivated defamation campaign against the Georgian Trade Union Confederation and its President Irakli Petriashvili, launched by some prominent political figures including members of Parliament aligned with the Georgian government.

The campaign, including attacks in the mainstream media and on social media channels, follows the strong support given by the ITUC-affiliated GTUC to protests by railway workers in a labour conflict on 24 August.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, "The GTUC, under Irakli Petriashvili’s leadership, has always championed workers’ rights in Georgia, regardless of which political tendency is in power. He has brought this commitment to the international level, including as President of the Pan-European Regional Council of the ITUC since December 2015."

The ITUC views the publicity campaign against the GTUC as a worrying sign of state intervention into trade union affairs in view of the forthcoming GTUC Congress. Union activists and delegates have been reporting for several months that ruling party officials are putting pressure on them and on local union structures to undermine the GTUC leadership.

"We deplore any interventions in GTUC democratic processes by the State or political officials, which would be in clear violation of ILO standards. Given the seriousness of this case, we will not hesitate to bring the case to the ILO, European Union, Council of Europe and other relevant bodies," said Burrow.

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on +32 2 224 03 52 or mail to:press@ituc-csi.org