Workers of Ozurgeti-based flour milling plant Gulistani have been striking for the last 17 days, protesting among others over pay cuts. The workers say the company pays them GEL 400 (USD 118) per month, which is GEL 250 (USD 73) lower than the salary on paper.
The striking workers announced today that multiple negotiations with the company failed, with the latter now planning to bring in new workers tomorrow with police backing to continue production, instead of meeting their demands.
The workers said they will rally outside the plant’s entrance to prevent the substitute employees from entering. “Unfortunately the law enforcement agencies do not stand by us in this case and are protecting the rights of the company,” noted one of the workers.
The company representative Marina Chkhaidze told Civil.ge today that the new workers are to be deployed only on a one-time basis to deliver flour to local shops, denying allegations of planning to replace the employees on strike. She, however, did not outright exclude the possibility of addressing police in the case of facing resistance from striking workers.
The Gulistani representative argued the workers end up earning less because of shrunk working hours, stemming from coronavirus curbs, and diminished demand for flour due to its rising prices.
The plant is run by Guria Express LLC, fully owned by Ismail Bölükbaş, a citizen of Turkey.
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