Six detained at rally demanding protection of workers’ rights released

Crowds protesting the death of workers yesterday announced plans to create a public movement to fight for labour rights.Photo:IPN., 02 Apr 2019 - 11:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

Six activists who were detained yesterday at a rally demanding the protection of workers’ rights following the death of two workers on Sunday have been released.

A lawyer of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association Vakhushti Menabde, an activist of the White Noise Movement David Subeliani and four others were detained for petty hooliganism and disobedience to police on Chavchavadze Avenue, in central Tbilisi.

The incident took place late yesterday when the protestors blocked the street and police were trying to push them to the sidewalks.

They were demanding Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze to come to the scene and speak with them.

Kaladze responded that he was ready to meet with several of the protestors, but the group demanded he address them all.

The scene where the fatality took place. Photo: IPN. 

The six detainees will likely be fined by a court.

The workers, aged 26 and 40, died after a sinkhole opened up during construction on a hospital on Chavchavadze Avenue 5.

A violation of safety standards has been named as a possible reason behind their deaths by the employees of the Georgian Health Ministry Work Inspection Department on Monday.

The department said that several companies were involved in construction works at the scene - a construction company, an executor company and several contractor companies.

The construction company Transmsheni has been fined 7,000 GEL [2,600 USD] as it created problems for the Health Ministry employees to study the scene.

An executor company Lechkombinat has been banned to continue works.

One of the contractor companies Khimij Service was fined 1,000 GEL [370 USD] as it did have official permission to carry out certain work that was dangerous.

Human Rights Monitoring and Education Centre says that between 2011 and 2018, 376 workers died and 1,081 received injuries at their workplace.

Last year alone 199 individuals received injuries and 59 died at their workplaces.