Three-week-long strike of workers in Borjomi bottling factories, producing Georgia’s iconic mineral water, ended on June 21 after employees reached an agreement with IDS Borjomi Georgia with the mediation of the Georgian Government.
The news comes a week after the Georgian Government received shares in IDS Borjomi International free of charge, which freed the bottling giant from the effects of international sanctions since it reduced the majority shares held by sanctions-hit Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman in the company.
Merab Akhmeteli, Borjomi N1 bottling factory director, said that recent changes to the shareholder structure gave the “company more opportunity to recognize the employees’ position, and with both parties giving up certain [demands], we finally reached an agreement.”
Besik Amiranashvili, the State Representative in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region who was involved in the mediation, stated that “all issues have been agreed upon by both the factory administration and the employees.” “The factory will start operating tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,” he said yesterday.
Giorgi Diasamidze, head of the Labor, the trade union representing 400 Borjomi workers, said that the company “made a lot of concessions” with some made from employees. “Overall the agreement that is being made today reflects the issues raised by the employees.”
Netgazeti cited Diasamidze as saying that the agreement grants three and six-month employees open-end contracts and that all 49 workers fired several months ago can return to work, although if any of them choose not to they will receive a six-month compensation.
Some 400 workers of the factory went on strike on May 31 to demand the reinstatement of their 49 colleagues dismissed in a reorganization, payment of delayed salaries, forming a collective agreement with the employer, and for the company to stop “blackmailing and threatening” outspoken employees.