Miners' Protest Resumes in Tkibuli

The miners’ protest has been resumed outside the City Hall of Tkibuli, a mining town in west-central Georgia, Imereti region. The miners are assembled there along with their supporters and family members, including children.

Some workers note that they did not allow their children to go to schools and kindergartens in protest, adding that representatives of various sectors of the city, including street vendors and teachers, may be involved in the strike.

The participants of the demonstration say that the coal mining activities in Mindeli and Dzidziguri mines have been suspended for more than a year, and their salaries are delayed. Without the latter, they cannot buy the food they need to live. The first demand of the miners is to receive their salaries on time.  

Miners from Chiatura, another mining town of Imereti region, joined the protest rally of Tkibuli miners, noting that many of them were unable to get to Tkibuli because of their work, but all miners share the spirit of protest.

About 40 workers spent the last night in Mindeli and Dzidziguri mines in Tkibuli. The miners continue hunger strike in the shafts. They refuse to stop the rally until they receive their current salaries and have the guarantee from the state that the coal mining process will be resumed.

Georgia's industrial group Saqnakshiri LTD has responded to the miners’ protest, saying that the Company is currently facing financial problems, and the workers were also informed about the above. They also note that the company is actively consulting with the state to find a way out of the situation.

The Director-General of Saqnakhsiri LTD states that the company will start paying the salaries from tomorrow, while other related issues will be discussed at the government meeting on Thursday.

Despite this promise, the miners are not going to stop the rally.

The protest was sparked yesterday, September 24. Up to 30 workers went on strike in Tkibuli, in the Mindeli and Dzidziguri mines, claiming that they would not leave until receiving their current salaries. 

The Georgian Trade Union reported that the miners should have received their salaries by September 15 yet, their employers left them without money and are unable to say when the salaries will be paid.

The Trade Union pointed out the grave social status of the workers, noting that they are unable to pay their bank loans and utility bills and called on the Bank of Georgia, “Energo Pro Georgia” and “Socar Gas” to consider the current situation and not to aggravate the social conditions of the locals of Tkibuli.

In addition, the Trade Union also called on the Government of Georgia to urgently accumulate funds to pay the salaries of Tkibuli miners and inform them about the plans of the government and the employer company related to the resumption of the coal mining process.

Related Story: Saqnakshiri LTD Responds to Miners' Protest in Tkibuli

By Ana Dumbadze 

25 September 2019 14:11