Georgian Students to Hold Rally with Solidarity to Deceased Workers

On February 14, Tbilisi State University students’ movement Auditorium 115 plans to hold a protest rally and march in solidarity with Georgian workers who were injured or killed due to a lack of safety norms in the country.

“From 2011 to 2017, 1,209 workers died or received injuries due to the absence of proper state labor safety laws. This is a war between the people and the pro-business elite state,” the Movement stated.

The protesters will march from the main building of Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University to the old parliament on Rustaveli Avenue. Auditorium 115 also plans to hold a similar rally in Georgia’s Black Sea coastal city Batumi.

The rally was organized after a 26-year-old construction worker, Jarji Janjalashvili, fell off the 5th floor of a building and died five days ago. His death allegedly occurred due to a breach in safety norms at the construction site.

Janjalashvili is the third construction worker to die at work this year. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has already launched an investigation into the case.

The Labor Inspection Service of the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs is also studying the case. They have stated that safety norms were not observed on site.

The employer company, Capital Construction, says the worker was instructed to work inside the building and claim the incident was an accident.

The Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) believe the State has no proper labor law to prevent such cases in future and is calling on Parliament to speed up adoption of the Labor Safety Law already initiated.

The draft Law on Labor Safety was submitted to Parliament on June 1, 2017 and approved by MPs at the first hearing. On February 5, 2018, when the Parliamentary had to discuss the draft with a second hearing, the government asked for additional time, adding that they needed to discuss the issue further.

By Thea Morrison 

12 February 2018 09:08