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Georgian Trade Unionsí new initiative

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, September 16
The Georgian Trade Unions have suggested a new Constitutional initiative and submitted it in a document reinforced by 48,000 signatures.

The initiative suggests introducing unemployment benefits pegged to the level of the minimum pension. Chair of the United Trade Unions Irakli Petriashvili states that in normal conditions the pension level equals the subsistence level and therefore unemployment allowances should be no lower than the minimum pension level.

The Trade Unions have calculated that in Georgia there are around 500,000 employed people, of whom around 100,000 earn less than the subsistence level. More than 1.5 million people are considered employed but in fact are not, because the Department of Statistics considers them to be employed simply because they have plots of land. Indeed, even then more than a million people are not employed even by the Departmentís definition and have no income at all.

Petriashvili thinks that people have been coming out into the streets in protest because of social problems. He regrets that the Georgian mentality is to be kind and generous and that people do not realise that they should be personally involved in political processes and direct politicians.

The Georgian Trade Unions also insist that the labour code should be amended as soon as possible and brought into compliance with EU demands.