Campaign to support Georgian trade unions

The Georgian government’s refusal to amend its anti-union labour legislation has prompted demands for a European Union investigation under its trade preference arrangements with Georgia. Despite repeated calls from the International Labour Organisation to remove a raft of legal obstacles to union rights, and to guarantee protection from discrimination, the Georgian government has so far refused to comply.

“The European Union needs to investigate Georgia’s continued violations of fundamental workers’ rights, and if the Georgian authorities do not bring their laws into line with ILO standards, then the EU should withdraw the trade preference arrangements which Georgia enjoys at present,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

Bernadette Segol, General Secretary of the ETUC said “Georgia’s employment laws fall way below the standards required to get trade advantages from the EU. These laws need to be amended, or the trade advantages should be withdrawn.”

A letter from the ITUC and the ETUC to European Commissioner Karel De Gucht sets out the restrictions imposed by the Georgian government on the country’s workforce on freedom of association and collective bargaining. It also details the absence of protection for workers from being sacked for union membership or from other forms of discrimination.

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