A new three year collective agreement has been signed at Zestafoni Ferroalloy Plant in Georgia, thanks to the efforts of an IndustriALL affiliate. The agreement contains 70 points and pays great attention to occupational health and safety, and the protection of union rights.
On 2 November, a collective agreement was signed by the director of Georgian Manganese, Vladimir Lozinski, the chair of the Association of Trade Unions of Georgia, Irakli Petriashvili, and the chair of the IndustriALL affiliate, Trade Union of Metallurgy, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers of Georgia, Tamaz Dolaberidze.
The new collective agreement is valid for three years and has an impressive benefits package including:
- The standard working time of 40 hours per week;
- The ratio of additional payment for overtime work is 1.3, for work on public holidays, 1.25, for night work (22:00-06:00), 1.2;
- Annual paid leave has increased from 24 to 27 days;
- The company administration annually provides the workers elected in the trade union body three additional days to participate in union activities. Two days are paid by the company, one day is compensated by the union;
- The employer provides medical insurance for employees. Union representatives can participate in the choice of the insurance company;
- The company makes a substantial financial contribution to work-study programmes, sport and cultural activities organized by the trade union.
The collective agreement contains mechanisms for monitoring and control over implementation of commitments taken on by the sides.
Collective bargaining started in June 2016. Initially, there were serious disagreements on many issues. However, the positive attitude of both sides eventually led to the signing of the agreement.
Tamaz Dolaberidze states:
"This is the first time in the history of Zestafoni, when the sides managed to conclude a collective agreement based on the principles of social dialogue and social partnership. The sides ensure that will create an atmosphere of trust and respect at all levels".