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Georgia: Union victory after month-long glass strike

14 March, 2016A month-long strike of 170 workers that paralyzed operations at the Ksani glass container factory in Georgia ended on 5 March after tough 12-hour negotiations between the union and management.  

The employer agreed to increase salaries by 7.5 per cent as of 1 January 2016, to launch collective bargaining negotiations in April 2016 with a goal to make the collective agreement binding as of 1 January 2017, and to provide premises for the local union of the Trade Union of Metallurgy, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers of Georgia (TUMMCIWG), a Georgian affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union.

An international solidarity campaign also contributed to the union victory. Tamaz Dolaberidze, the President of TUMMCIWG thanked IndustriALL and all trade unions, including IndustriALL's affiliates in the CIS, that had sent their protest letters to the factory management and to the Turkish company Şişecam Group that owns the glass container factory in Ksani (JSC MINA).

"This international solidarity support once again showed us its great importance, as every union letter inspired striking workers to continue their struggle, made them stronger, that altogether resulted in the victory,” said Dolaberidze.

Workers at the Ksani glass container factory launched the strike on 5 February, after the management continued to neglect TUMMCIWG demands to sign a collective agreement and increase wages.

IndustriALL assistant general secretary, Kemal Ôzkan, said: “We congratulate our Georgian affiliate on this excellent victory for the Ksani glass workers. We now expect the company to fulfill its obligations and meet the agreed deadlines.”