The Georgian state will become a shareholder and co-owner of IDS Borjomi, one of the largest mineral water producers in Georgia, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on Monday.
The Government head’s comment came in response to recent developments in the company, with about 400 employees being on strike demanding the reinstatement of 50 coworkers dismissed following the company’s announcement of a “temporary suspension,” along with several other stipulations.
Garibashvili said the country’s Economy Ministry had “practically completed” the negotiations, noting the Georgian Government would raise the issue of IDS Borjomi at the following session in about a week, during which a problem would be solved with the state becoming shareholder and co-owner of the company.
Calling the protest of the workers a “difficulty,” the PM also announced he had spoken of the issue with the country’s Health Minister Zurab Azarashvili, pointing out the Labour Inspection Office was involved in the negotiations between the parties.
Dozens of workers of IDS Borjomi went on strike about a week ago demanding “immediate reinstatement” of the “illegally dismissed” employees of the company, issuance of their salaries, return to previous labour conditions and lifelong contracts for every employee of the company.
The Georgian Health Ministry announced earlier today it would hold meetings with the employees and employers of the company to “reach an agreement” between the parties, “fully consider their interests” and “restore the full functioning of the mineral water bottling plants.”
The company announced a “temporary suspension” of the production at both of its plants in Georgia in late April due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russian-owned businesses.
IDS Borjomi, partly owned by Alfa Group, one of the largest privately-owned financial investment conglomerates in Russia, also announced its submission of a formal proposal to transfer a part of its shares to the Georgian Government for free on May 19.