11 October, 2017More than 200 workers at a windows and doors manufacturing company in Tbilisi, Georgia, have achieved justice after suffering violence and pressure from the employer and the police.
On 4 October, three workers were violently beaten by security guards after a visit to the head of monitoring service, asking for a review of the calculation of their wages.
Workers downed their tools as a sign of protest. During the protest, security staff acted provocatively, swearing at them, and calling the police.
On 6 October, the employer's representative beat one more protester following a brief conversation, an incident recorded by a supervisory camera.
Police launched an investigation, and the workers contacted IndustriALL affiliate Trade Union of Metallurgy, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers of Georgia. The union informed the Georgian Trade Union Confederation, the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia and provided legal advice to the workers.
Tamaz Dolaberidze, President of Trade Union of Metallurgy, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers of Georgia, says that in his labour union experience this is the third time management representatives beat up workers.
“It is unacceptable that employers believe they can use violence against workers in total impunity. Our union supports the workers’ demands to ensure safety in the workplace.”
After a protest rally at the company entrance on 7 October, the workers and the union were invited for negotiations, which resulted in:
- Dismissal of the two security staff involved in the incident on 4 October, as well as of the initiator of the incident on 6 October;
- Suspension of the labour contract of the chief of monitoring service before the end of the investigation;
- Revision of the labour and legal situation by the trade union, with management taking all the recommendations into consideration.
After announcing the agreement, workers decided to resume operations and to collaborate with the union in future.
Albatross manufactures windows and doors, and has four branches in Tbilisi with about 250 employees.