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Railway workers cancel strike

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, December 5
Workers at Georgian Railway halted protest they held in demand of better working and salary conditions on December 3.

The workers, who went on strike in several towns of Georgia, reached an agreement with the Georgian Railway administration.

According to the sides, the agreement met most of the workers’ demands.

Georgian Railway workers, a new trade union (protecting the interests of the railway workers) and Georgian Railway agreed that from 2015 a new salary system would be launched.

For the New Year holiday the workers will receive bonuses as much as 50% of their regular salaries.

Georgian Railway claims that it has a plan on how to move to a new salary system from 2015 that will distribute salaries based on skills and professionalism.

More qualified drivers are promised bonuses in 2015. From the second half of the year, workers should also receive salary supplements three-times a year that will be equal to 30% of their salaries.

Meanwhile the railway trade union has asked the Constitutional Court to deal with the issue of overtime compensation. The union states that the issue is not well regulated by Georgian legislation.

If court makes a verdict in favor of workers, the railway administration claims it will compensate the workers.

A commission will be created to monitor how the sides fulfill their obligations and given promises.

Railway workers started the rallies on November 26. According to them, in total, 60-70% of all workers were protesting. 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.