Tkibuli coal miners end strike
Business Ombudsman mediates 7hrs of talks

  • Miners in Tkibuli went on strike two weeks ago after demanding salary increases. Photo by Sopo Aptsiauri/Liberali.ge.
Agenda.ge, 1 Mar 2016 - 17:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

More than five hundred miners in western Georgia’s Tkibuli region ended a 15-day strike after Georgia’s Prime Minister sent a business ombudsman to the scene to settle the ongoing pay dispute.

Seven hours of negotiations between Business Ombudsman Giorgi Gakharia, professional union representatives, miners’ representatives and employer Sakhnakhshiri GIG ended late yesterday when parties reached an agreement.

The new deal outlined the salary pool used to pay all Saknakhshiri employees will be increased by five percent, while miners and other staff with risky jobs will receive more than five percent above their current salaries.

Company employees said the average salary in Sakhnakhshiri ranged between 500-600 GEL (about $200-240 USD/€185-223*). 

Business Ombudsman Giorgi Gakharia said the negotiation process 'was not easy'.

Furthermore, Sakhnashrisi also agreed to take responsibility to gradually establish and carry out certain measures to ensure safety in the workplace.

The company added it would not impose sanctions against the striking workers and would refund half of the money for the period its staff were absent, which means about a week’s pay. 

The miners initially demanded a 40 percent salary increase.

Sakhnakhshiri started coal extraction in 2006 from Tkibuli mine in western Georgia. 

The company supplies coal for the domestic market. In 2014, Saknakhshiri extracted 350,000 tons of coal.  

Currencies are as of today’s National Bank of Georgia exchange rate.

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