Georgia: ITUC Calling on New Georgian Government to Improve Workers’ Rights in the Country

In Tbilisi, the ITUC has called on the new government to take concrete actions to improve industrial relations in the country and ensure the respect of labour rights in the country.

The ITUC Deputy General Secretary Jaap Wienen has delivered in person the ITUC – ETUC roadmap for Georgia to the government. This roadmap lists the international trade union movement recommendations for an effective implementation of international labour standards in law and in practice and the normalisation of the industrial relations processes in the country.

The roadmap provides detailed documentation of dramatic and systematic violations of fundamental workers’ rights, particularly the right to organise and to bargain collectively (Convention 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organization - ILO), which Georgian workers and trade union members have faced for years.

So far, the Georgian labour code does not protect from discrimination and union busting, and it puts workers in a difficult situation, at the mercy of their employers. There is no labour inspection at all, and trade unions are systematically victims of anti-union acts and policies. For years, the ITUC has been monitoring this situation and has reported to international organisations such as the ILO, the EU and the Council of Europe. Unfortunately, the previous government was not willing to make any changes, despite numerous requests from the relevant international institutions.

“We can see hope in the eyes of the workers and the Georgian Trade Union Confederation,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary. “The recent victory of the Georgian Dream Coalition opens the door for respecting Georgian workers’ rights. The workers are standing up to fight for their rights. But there is no time to waste, and the new coalition must act in line with its promises.

The labour code must be changed, and workers must have the right to organise and to bargain collectively implemented and protected in practice. Real social dialogue that has been missing for years in the country will ensure stability of industrial relations and the role of a strong trade union movement.”

See the ITUC Letter to Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister of Georgia

See the ITUC – ETUC Roadmap