The concept of industrial monotowns popular in the Soviet Union proved ineffective in the context of the market economy. Many city-forming enterprises have become completely uncompetitive — but cities continue to live.
The former Soviet industrial centre of Rustavi has long been perceived as a city of factories. Spewing toxic fumes into their surroundings, the factories have led to ‘alarming’ levels of air pollution in the city — and local activists, backed by the city council, are getting fed up. [Read more…]
Despite widespread homophobic attitudes throughout the Caucasus, there are some queer people who find acceptance for who they are — from their co-workers, their friends, and their families. Below are the stories of three queer people, from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. [Read more…]
Georgia used to be a regional hub for importing and then re-exporting used cars across the Caucasus and Central Asia. Import tariffs from the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union as well as regulations on older and right-hand drive cars have stripped the car markets of Rustavi of this valuable trade. [Read more…]
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.
Workers dismissed on mass from a Rustavi nitrogen plant on 26 January have continued to protest the decision. The workers were joined by the Georgian Trade Union, students, NGOs and opposition activists, all demanding that the 350 employees, who were fired without warning, be reinstated to their previous positions.