Irakli Petriashvili noted during his speech that the Georgian Trade Unions had always felt the warm support of our European friends and this support was especially important during the reign of the prior administration. The prior administration used everything available at their disposal to fight the unions. If it wasn’t for the international solidarity and tough stance, numerous protest letters supporting the unions, recommendations and advice, its wholly possible that the union movement would not have existed today.
The GTUC President expressed his hope and belief that Ms. Bernadette’s visit will give further empowerment to Georgian Trade Unions and the solidarity expressed by this visit will be important for every employed individual in Georgia.
Ms. Bernadette Ségol expressed her support and solid stance with the Georgian Trade Unions one more time and according to her statement, the European Trade Union’s brothers and sisters will do everything they can to deepen the relationship between Georgia and Europe. Ms. Ségol hopes that her meetings with the Georgian government and the current visit will significantly help in developing a tradition of social dialogue.
During the meeting our regional partners from Azerbaijan and Armenia addressed the participants, the sectoral union leaders spoke about the current issues. It is of no surprise that numerous problems were discussed, but the Georgian unionists believe that Ms. Bernadette Ségol’s visits, together with visits of high rank officials will benefit the Georgian labor movement.
After the meeting, Ms. Ségol left to meet with the Prime-Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili. The sides discussed a wide-spectrum of human rights issues. They also spoke on the executed, currently underway and planned projects in regards to employment in Georgia. Conversation touched on perspectives of refining the labor market. The ETUC General Secretary expressed that she would like to help in any way possible in fulfilling Georgia’s obligations relating to Association Agreement.
The Prime Minister thanked the ETUC for their significant efforts in defending labor rights of Georgians. According to his statement, ETUC has always supported Georgia’s integration into the EU and was actively helping the Georgian unions, especially during the prior administration. In fact, it was Bernadette Ségol who organized numerous meetings in 2009-2012 where the EU Parliament’s representatives met with the GTUC in Georgia and were introduced to the distressful situation that the nation was facing at the time.
We remind you that the European Trade Unions Confederation’s General Secretary is Bernadette Ségol and it unites the largest trade unions of the EU member states, thus effectively representing the interests of 60 million workers. Ms. Ségol is also the General Secretary of the Pan-European Regional Council (PERC) where the GTUC holds a membership status.