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Railway workers’ protest continues

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, December 1
Georgian Railway workers have been protesting in different cities throughout Georgia since November 26. This time, the focus was around a rally that took place in Khashuri. Railway employees are demanding the improvement of working conditions and the creation of a fair salary system.

The protesters had three demands for the railway administration: the creation of a new, fair salary system, a 13th pay-check on the New Year, and compensation for overtime work. On the third day of the rally they added a fourth demand, the dismissal of the Board of Directors.

Georgian Railway workers they were irritated by statements made by the Head of the Public Relations Department Dachi Tsaguria and suggested that he acquaint himself with the situation at the work place.

Protester Giorgi Mikava said that since the very first day, the railway has been paralyzed.

“All the railway stations are 100% paralyzed and it will stay like this until our demands are fulfilled,” he stated.

Deputy Head of the Georgian Railway Workers New Trade Union Davit Vashakidze said that the rally will continue and they will not give up.

“We will stand here till the end, soon many more people will stand by our side,” stated Vashakidze.

Meanwhile, protesters blamed Chairman of Civil Activity Club Organization Melor Vachnadze for making threats. However, Vachnadze stated that information spread by the Vice President of Georgian Trade Unions Confederation (GTUC) Gocha Aleksandria is untrue. He confirmed that he met with the protesters.

“We had a meeting with them, but it was in a conversational format. The people we met with do want to find a solution to the problem using negotiations to reach a final agreement, but their leaders are delaying the process,” stated Vachnadze.

Earlier this week Georgian Railway released a statement saying that there were nine points on the list of demands from the strikers and they achieved agreement on seven of them, while one of the issues should be handled by the courts.