The striking employees of Borjomi factories blocked the road leading to the factories on Monday morning and started picketing.
Police are mobilized on the spot. Despite the call of the Ministry of Internal Affairs representatives, the demonstrators remain on the ground and continue to picket.
“Employees from the administration also joined us. Demonstrators are standing peacefully in front of the factories,” Giorgi Diasamidze, head of the Trade Union and one of the organizers of the rally, stated.
“We appeal to the government – what is happening here is their responsibility,” Diasamidze said.
He said the employees will not stop until an agreement is reached between the company and the strikers.
The Trade Union says employees have the following requirements:
- Immediate reinstatement of 50 illegally dismissed persons
- Accrual of 2 months’ salaries
- Return to previous working conditions
- Perpetual contracts for all employees and a 25% increase in salaries
- Eliminate the facts of blackmail, threats and coercion, dismissal and prosecute certain members of the administration involved in it
- Concluding a collective agreement.
A few days ago, Merab Akhmeteli, director of the Borjomi N1 bottling plant, said that despite the company’s crisis situation, instead of firing employees, the company kept 95% of its employees and left the salary rate unchanged.
“Only the system of calculating missed hours has changed, but it is still better than the established practice in the industry. I want to emphasize that the remuneration of working hours remains the same for all employees,” he said.
The company says due to the sanctions imposed on the investor, Russian oligarch, Mikhail Fridman, the company was forced to change the employees’ contracts.
According to Borjomi, “the company can no longer afford to pay 100% of the hours missed in the factory due to the suspension of production,” which is why the employees were offered renewed terms, which means remuneration of 50% of the missed hours, while the payment for worked hours remain unchanged.
This condition, the company says, “unfortunately was not acceptable to a small part of the employees”, which, as the company says, forced them to start the reorganization process at the factory and terminate the contracts for 49 employees “on the basis of law.”
By Ana Dumbadze