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Railway workers go on hunger strike

By Messenger Staff
Friday, August 18
Georgian railway workers have announced a hunger strike in front of the administration building of the Georgian Railway in Tbilisi, as they say their employer changed their working place without any initial agreement.

The railway workers claim that the Georgian Railway administration made a decision to move them from the Kakheti region to Tbilisi without any prior warning.

The workers stress that the employer also refused their provision with accommodation and transport expenses in Tbilisi.

The railway workers started their hunger strike on August 15 and tried to open tents.

However, police removed their tents from the scene.

Georgia’s Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili says the tents were removed illegally and the police’s actions violated the right of assembly.

The Georgian Railway company claims that the workers were warned about the change of their workplace and that they ensured the covering of accommodation and transport expenses.

The Railway administration spoke about the involvement of “destructive forces” in the process which stirred the controversy.

It is unlikely that such a process could take place if there truly was effective communication between the company and its employees.

It is also doubtful that workers would voluntarily accept working in Tbilisi, far from their homes, without accommodation and similar necessities.

This indicates towards the fact that Georgia’s labour code includes some abstract statements, and needs to better ensure the protection of employees’ rights.

Such incidents also show that that there are severe communication problems within various companies in the country.