Strike Tide Smells of Sabotage
01 November, 2012
Strike Tide Smells of Sabotage

The upsurge of strike tide that splashed all over Georgia since mid-October up to these days smells of sabotage. New Georgian government had not been even approved by October 15, 2012 when the flood of social discontent instigated by about 3700 miners at Georgian Manganese, a manganese exploration and extraction company operating in Chiatura  deluged the entire country.

Miners from Tkibuli coal mines supported Chiatura immediately. Workers of IDS Borjomi International [bottling Borjomi mineral water], mechanics of the depot of the state

owned Georgian Railway and workers of Poti Port [the Black Sea outlet of Georgia] as well as vehicle drivers employed at transit cargos transportation firms based in Poti, went on strikes on October 23, October 24 and October 25 respectively. All strikers’ demands with slight differentiations converged in key social-care package: increase of salary, safer working environment, proper medical insurance, longer vacancy and proper labor contracts.

And although railway and port workers as well as Borjomi resumed working by today very likely more rallies and protestation pickets loom in the prospect.

Workers of ferrous-alloy producing factory in Zestaponi, owned by Georgian Manganese as well, and Poti Port workers plan a large-scale protestation action starting November 1st if their requirements are not met.

Involuntarily Displaced People (IDPs), seeking for decent shelter for more than a decade and ignored by the ex-ruling power, occupied some empty buildings.

The new government formed by Georgian Dream coalition that was approved on October 25 against the backdrop of boiling protestation passions, promised to start working on all problems including the new labor code as soon as possible. However, Bidzina Ivanishvili, the new Prime Minister of Georgia, became wary of sabotage.

“I did not expect striking of GR employees. I do not rule out that there was certain sabotage for salaries there are much higher than in other sectors, however we should discuss this issue too,” Ivanishvili said.

The salaries at GR [that is one of the most prosperous Georgian enterprises contributing roughly GEL 100 million in tax to the state budget yearly] range between GEL 900 to 2500 while the average payment of miners at Chiatura Manganese is GEL 300-400.

Demur Giorkhelidze, an economic expert, finds the protestation upsurge natural for people been under bondage during 8 years and expects only positive results.

“Owners of big business like the companies where strikes were staged enjoyed huge benefits for many years. Now they should stop been pigs and go on concessions until the promised legislation changes come true,” he said adding that the strikes at key strategic enterprises may bring no harm to Georgian economy as it is already stagnated.

Part of Georgian economic analysts share Ivanishvili’s suspicion. They discern quite explicit private interests of the ex-ruling party of National Movement as well as the United Trade Union of Georgia (UTUG) behind the protestation wave and send signals of alert.

Ditrikh Muller, an economic analyst at Georgian Investment Group, believes this protests looks like urging a willing horse as much as new government acknowledges all the problems put out during strikes completely and promises to solve them through legal means as there is no other way of solution. He thinks this is a well-organized sabotage and the ex-ruling National Movement is the author of the scenario most probably.

“If we zoom in the picture closer, a large part of the social discontent has no ground. GR and Borjomi for example where employees have really better salaries and working conditions unlike miners who work under bondage really of which I spoke in 2007 but the trade union that organized all these strikes now and that is an arm group of Nationals I believe did not take any notice then. Now they speak of 100% of growth in salaries that is completely unrealistic and provocative demand. Besides, the scheme of IDPs storming into new buildings seem quite suspicious - how did they learn where those empty buildings were located and took them over in a very organized way just over-night? I believe Nationals stand behind all these alleged discontent tide.  They still have levers at these striking enterprises as owners of these companies are from the National’s circle. GR is the state controlled and the National’s personnel still work there. Take into account that GR went on strike as soon as Irakli Ezugbaia, Head of GR, stepped down and there is no responsible body to handle with problems until a new head is assigned.  Nationals want to plunge the country in instability so as to have grounds in six month to demand retirement of the new government, they have said quite openly that this is a short-term government,” Muller said to Georgian Journal.

Muller advises strikers to press on legal keys within companies rather than go striking for if protests keep on too long this may lead companies to bankruptcy and  people will lose jobs altogether.

“Changes in law cannot be done instantly, people should realize this and abstain from blocking railway as well as port that are of strategic importance to the country’s transit potential, investors and cargo forwarders are very sensitive to such instability and they will bypass Georgia until the situation clears. Strikers should press on legal keys within companies and demand revision of contracts and so forth through trade unions without interruption working process,” Muller elaborated.

Paata Sheshelidze, President of New Economic School, also thinks the underway protestation tide is an obvious sabotage and violation of rights of proprietors and the issue should be solved through legal means.

“I think the trade union wants to accentuate on the importance of their role on the one hand. On the other hand all the problems the protest is derived from the defects of the previous government, they are responsible for bondage contract terms with private companies as well as for labor contracts and the issue should be solved on the legal level. Strikes violate rights of proprietors, nobody has a right to block the railway and roads and do harm to  companies who own or use the said infrastructure, these protestations must be stopped instantly,” Sheshelidze stated.

Print
Other Stories
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
Mziuri Park in Tbilisi to be renovated soon
It was the dream of prominent Georgian writer Nodar Dumbadze that when the original Mziuri park was constructed and opened in 1892 that it should be a park for children,
Winemakers to produce Kvanchkara in its place of origin - Racha
Khvanchakara is a semi-sweet Georgian red wine which originates from Racha, in the western part of Georgia. Kvanchkara is made of two types of grape Mujuretuli and Aleksandrouli.
The level of Georgian wine and Chacha exported has increased
The National Wine Agency of Georgia has recently published statistical information about the level of Georgian wine and Chacha exported between January and July, 2018.
New fire engines to be Manufactured in Georgia
The Acting Head of the Emergency Management Agency Shalva Khutsishvili said that the old Zili fire engines (which were made in the USSR) will be phased out and replaced with new ones, manufactured in Georgia.
Georgia witnesses a record number of tourists
The Georgian National Tourism Administration publishes statistical information about international visits to Georgia.
Canadian businessman plans to build a hotel in Bakhmaro
Canadian businessman Vadim Malishev plans to build a hotel in Bakhmaro resort, Guria, in the western part of Georgia.
Coffee Factory will open in Tbilisi in October
The first coffee factory (which will be located on the Kakheti highway) in Tbilisi will open in October.
Places in Georgia where real estate is the most expensive
The real estate market in Georgia is growing annually. In Tbilisi as well as other regions of Georgia new developments are increasingly taking place.
How much does a vacation cost in Tbilisi?
It is the middle of summer and those who have not yet taken a vacation are looking for an appropriate place for sure!
The price for extreme sports in Georgia
Georgia offers a variety of options to extreme sport lovers.
The number of Georgians who own property abroad increases
The number of foreign properties owned by Georgians is increasing.
How much does Taxi cost in Tbilisi?
Stories how Taxi drivers try to deceive passengers and charge them with more money than they should pay are known for everybody all over the world.
What are the highest paid areas in Georgia
According to the data collected by the National Statistics Office of Georgia in the first quarter of 2018 the highest paid jobs in Georgia are found in the financial and insurance fields.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
18.09.2018
19.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6156
2.6188
EUR
1
EUR
3.0498
3.0593
GBP
1
GBP
3.4259
3.4414
RUB
100
RUB
3.8379
3.8673
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6188
EUR
1
EUR
3.0593
GBP
1
GBP
3.4414
RUB
100
RUB
3.8673
September 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30