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Georgian Trade Unions Mark Labor Day with Protests

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, May 2
Trade Unions in Georgia marked the International Labor Day with the protests throughout the country.

The manifestation started in Tbilisi, at the governmental administration at 17:00.

The Trade Unions demand decent and safe labor conditions and called on the government to sign a “social contract.”

“The "social contract" reflects the needs that we have in the context of social inequality. There is a serious social inequality that does not decrease following the country's economic growth, and the reforms are being implemented without any involvement of those, whom it concerns,” the statement of the Trade Unions reads.

This year Georgian trade unions focus on vital issues and demand the political agenda of the country not based on populism but on social context and needs, including adequate minimum wages, unemployment benefits, employment of young people, maternity protection, etc.

“The "social contract" is a form that the World Trade Union has now established, with which the state must take concrete obligations to eradicate social inequality and to provide a real public democracy,” the statement reads.

The Trade Unions added that the difference between male and female workers’ salaries should also be solved.

The protest rally was also joined by the Women’s Movement.

Labor Day, celebrated around the globe on 1 May, is a day dedicated to laborers of the working class.

The day originated in the US city in 1886 when the labor union movement rose up against unjust working conditions and demanded better pay, reasonable hours, and paid leaves. This day thousands of laborers around the country took to the streets to protest.

The day commemorates the Haymarket affair, which took place on 4 May. It began as a peaceful labor rally near Chicago's Haymarket Square before turning violent when a protestor threw a bomb at police, wounding 67 policemen, of who seven died. The police then opened fire at the gathering, killing several men and wounding around 200.

In 1889, the International Socialist Conference declared that in commemoration of the Haymarket affair, 1 May would be an international holiday for the labor force, now known in many places as International Workers' Day.