The Tbilisi Metro resumed functioning Wednesday afternoon, after metro drivers union Ertoba 2013 reached an agreement with Mayor Kakha Kaladze and his office. The metro had been closed since Monday morning, when after being barred from going on strike by the courts, drivers began a hunger strike instead, making them physically unfit to work. [Read more…]
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze has dismissed demands by metro drivers for higher pay. The Tbilisi Metro shut down on Monday, less than a day after metro drivers began a hunger strike. Passengers were not warned in advance about the possible shut down, only to see a message about it posted on station entrances, offering free bus rides instead. Traffic jams, overcrowded buses, and a shortage of taxis were reported on Monday morning. [Read more…]
Over 1,000 workers were killed or injured in occupational accidents in Georgia from 2011–2016, according to data compiled by the Applied Research Company, a consultancy. Almost every month, yet another worker plunges to his death from Tbilisi’s shockingly unprotected highrise construction sites or a story of worker humiliation or exploitation hits the news. Labour issues have returned as fertile ground for Georgian activism.
In May 2016, Tbilisi’s Kiwi Café — a vegan hangout for city hipsters — was hit by nationalist youths armed with meat sausages. The grotesque spectacle was obvious click-bait in today’s attention seeking social media, but it did highlight a new trend: social and lifestyle issues increasingly trump Georgia’s latent political rifts, and young people are at the forefront of this evolution.
Hundreds gathered in central Tbilisi on 1 May to celebrate International Worker’s Day, and to demand better labour conditions for workers. [Read more…]
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.