In February 2017, Georgian trade unions and left-leaning activists and civil society groups organised large rallies in Rustavi and Tbilisi to support employees of the Azoti plant that were laid off without notice. Reportedly, the Bank of Georgia took over Azoti, which is the largest nitrogen manufacturing plant in Georgia, and dismissed three-hundred-and-fifty workers with no prior warning.
Fifty-eight former employees of a fertiliser plant in Rustavi, a town 20 km south of Tbilisi, who were dismissed earlier in 2017, are suing the owner in Rustavi City Court. They claim they were illegally dismissed and are demanding their jobs back as well as compensation. [Read more…]
At the beginning of the month, the Georgian Public Broadcaster announced a plan to reorganise itself; the plan was consumer-oriented and would mean cuts in the broadcaster’s staff. Job cuts have also been announced in a number of other public sector institutions. On top of this, the government is displaying complete apathy towards ill-treatment and forceful dismissals of employees in the private sector.
A wave of protests unusually widespread for Georgian leftist groups hit the capital Tbilisi this winter, after revelations of dreadful labour conditions in the country emerged. The question is, whether the protests can be transformed into a genuine, grassroots left-wing movement.
Students, together with human rights activists and trade unions, organised a demonstration on 7 February in Georgia’s capital, to protest the mass firing of employees from a nitrogen plant in Rustavi, a town 20 km south of Tbilisi.