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Minibus drivers go on strike in Tbilisi

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, August 6
Groups of minibus drives in Tbilisi are on strike. They demand from Tbilisi Minibus Company to reduce the mandatory company contribution plan, which amounts to 55 GEL per day.

The drivers say that the daily plan is too high and they cannot pay it. They also want their weekend plan to be shortened and it should not be equal to weekday ones.

“All we demand is normal working conditions. Our fare plan is very high and we cannot pay it. We want to hold a meeting with the bus company representatives,” protesting bus drivers stressed.

According to protesters, beside the daily payment, the company obligates them to pay for minibus fuel and general repairs from their own pocket.

“We have huge debts not only with the company, but with the banks as well. All we want is the chance to feed our families with our honest work. Tbilisi Minibus Company should respect us more and stop flouting,” said one of the mini bus drivers.

The Head of the Minibus Driver’s Initiative group Gocha Natadze said that they have asked the Tbilisi Mini Bus Company to meet them many times.

“Despite our request they refused and declined to hold negotiations. Only after we went on strike they decided to have talks with us,” stated Natadze.

Mini buses in Didi Digomi, Digomi Massive and Gldani districts have been inactive since August 5, due to the rally.

The drivers say that they will not stop the strike until their demands are met. The protesters have gathered in Digomi Massive, near the territory of Black Sea University.

Tbilisi Mini Bus Company has not yet responded to the mini-bus drivers’ demands.