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Union in Georgia wins substantial wage increase

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23 March, 2021A 20 per cent income increase for Ksani glass container factory workers has been achieved in the new four-year collective agreement.

The collective bargaining agreement for 2021-2024 was signed on 26 February after six of online and office meetings between the Trade union of metallurgy, mining and chemical industry workers of Georgia and JSC Mina, with online participation of Şişecam Istanbul head office.

The average wage is currently GEL1150 (US$ 345); according to the new collective agreement, workers’ income may increase by up to 20 per cent.

Eleven percent income increase would be achieved through an annual wage indexation in line with the inflation rate, the payment of a 13th salary, a 50 per cent increase in the nightwork tariff, a ten per cent increase in the New Year's bonus, and a wider health insurance.

In addition, a bonus system will be in place, with an additional increase of up to nine per cent, provided targets are met throughout the year.

The first 3-year collective agreement was signed in August 2017 after more than a year of negotiations that followed on a month-long strike of 170 workers, paralyzing factory operations in March 2016.

Since then, social dialogue has imporved significantly. TUMMCIWG president Tamaz Dolaberidze says:

“Despite the periodically disputes, we have been able to successfully establish a way of communicating that contributes towards solving routine problems, and we can build the relationship based on the principle of constructive social partnership."

IndustriALL assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan says:

“We congratulate the union on this strong collective agreement benefitting the workers. We expect the company to fulfill its obligations, and the parties to continue the genuine social dialogue.”

The glass container factory in Ksani (JSC Mina) employs 160 workers and is owned by the Turkish company Şişecam, with 42 production plants and 22,000 workers in 14 countries.