Chinese Labor in Georgia
01 March, 2012
Chinese Labor in Georgia

“While 60% of the population is unemployed…”

According to informal reports, the House of Justice in Tbilisi is being built by 150 Chinese and 60 Georgian workers hired by Chinese company Huan Chuan. Some people even claim that the Chinese get 70 Lari per day. If so, it looks odd why they sleep in the decrepit house and eat out in the open.

 

It was the Union of Unemployed that broke the story about the Ch

inese workers: “It should have been Georgians in the place of those 150 Chinese. We should place much more Georgians on jobs, as 60% of the population is unemployed. The State is supposed to protect labor rights of its citizens. While actually, foreigners enjoy greenhouse conditions here. There is no obligatory quota of Georgian citizens for an investor or at least for a foreign contractor to employ.”

Foreign contractors evade contacts with journalists. Moreover, spotting the approaching media representatives, they immediately lock themselves up in the construction site offices, booths or carriages. I went to Deda-Ena Park, where you can always find someone from China. I could not find there any Chinese to tell me about their compatriots stationed at former Tennis Courts and restaurant Mertskhali premises.

So, I moved to Eliava Street crowded with various vendors and repairers. I started to loiter around in an attempt to clarify minimum daily reimbursement that Georgians may agree on to replace Chinese at the construction site. Finally, I bumped upon Beso, a resident of Chiatura, who turned out to be an talkative respondent. He ruled out any chance that Chinese are getting as much as 70 lari per day.

Beso: For sure, no one will be paying them such a huge sum. The Chinese company chose to hire their compatriots for the former tennis courts construction simply because Georgians will never accept to work for them just for peanuts.

Q: Then why some people claim the Chinese get 70 Lari per day?

A: I know for 100% that no one gets 70 lari in a single day. Even if somebody formally writes 70 Lari on salary checks, none of the workers can lay his hands on such money.

Qualification of workers was already systematized in the time of Soviet Union. We would have to produce a document proving that we graduated from a vocational education college and were granted the right qualification or at least the head of the group was supposed to take responsibility for the qualification of every group member. Today there is no expertise service  and it is entirely up to construction contractors to hire allegedly qualified staff.

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