10 Oct 2011

New briefing: Labour Rights Violations in Georgia

On 7 October 2011, the International Day for Decent Work, the Dutch association of trade unions, FNV, awarded the 11th Febe Elizabeth Velasquez Trade Union Award to Irakli Petriashvili, President of the Georgian Trade Union Confederation (GTUC). This Award pays tribute to union leaders who take personal risks in defending trade union rights in their countries.

This paper “Labour rights violations in Georgia” developed by SOLIDAR, in cooperation with PERC (ITUC/ETUC) and GTUC, underlines that after raised hopes and initial progress in the fields of democracy and human rights just after the Georgian 2003 Rose Revolution, human and labour rights are in decay in recent years. The case study on the strike at the Hercules metallurgical plant shows this clearly.

On 11 May 2011 the European Commission wrote in the context of the GSP+ system, that the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament will exert more scrutiny to further promote core human and labour rights.

To that end, this briefing calls on the European Institutions to ensure that:

The Labour Code of 2006 must be brought in line with ILO core labour standards and conventions if Georgia is to live up to its international commitments to respect workers’ basic human rights.

All the attacks on GTUC structures and interference in union affairs must be stopped. The Georgian government must intensify its efforts to actively prosecute cases of anti-union discrimination and increase the penalties to an adequate level.

The Georgian government must effectively promote collective bargaining in the public sector and fully recognise workers’ right to strike by allowing strikes also when there is a conflict of interests.

The Georgian government should reinstate the labour inspection service to ensure that labour law applies equally to all employers and workers, and guarantees them healthy and safe conditions at work.

Read the full briefing

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