“The current situation in Tkibuli is totally unacceptable,” Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated at the government meeting today, adding that although the problems have been accumulating in Tkibuli for years, the investors should fulfill their obligations.  

“Of course, today we start the meeting by discussing the recent developments in Tkibuli. What was happening today and yesterday in Tkibuli is absolutely unacceptable.

However, it should be noted that these are problems that have accumulated over the years. Every investor and employer should keep in mind that he / she is obliged to fulfill his / her financial and wage obligations as well as to create appropriate working conditions for each employee, which of course implies full compliance with labor and technical safety standards. I would like to emphasize once again that what is happening today in Tkibuli is unacceptable. Even though these problems have been accumulating for years, such cases should not occur in our country,” he said.

Gakharia also added that the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natia Turnava, will be sent to Tkibuli under his order, “not just to get acquainted with the circumstances or the case itself, but to solve the problem.”

The miners’ protest was sparked on September 24 in Tkibuli, a mining town in west-central Georgia, Imereti region. Up to 30 workers went on strike 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: Miners’ Protest Resumes in Tkibuli

By Ana Dumbadze