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STOP VICTIMIZING GEORGIAN TRADE UNIONS
Statement by the General Confederation of Trade Unions
22 February 2005

President of Georgia M. Saakashvili
Copies to:
Prime-Minister of Georgia Z. Nogaideli
Chairperson of Georgias Parliament N. Burjanadze
Procurator-General of Georgia Z. Adeishvili

The General Confederation of Trade Unions, organizing over 53 million workers from 11 countries of the CIS, is deeply indignant over the arbitrary acts being committed by Georgias authorities against the GCTU member-organization, the Georgian Trade Union Amalgamation (GTUA), and its elected leaders.

The GCTU voices a strong protest against the insistent attempts to deprive the unions of their legal property, the provocative arrest of a GTUA Vice President, Lasha Chichinadze, and the threats issued against other leaders of the national trade union centre.

The GCTU draws the attention of Georgian state authorities to the fact that their actions run counter to the civilized norms of conduct, and trample grossly on the universally accepted international instruments and on trade union rights guaranteed by the countrys Constitution and legislation.

The GCTU demands an immediate release of Lasha Chichinadze and insists that all issues of relationship between the unions and the state authorities, including the regulation of property problems, should be settled on a strict legal basis.

Vladimir Scherbakov,
     GCTU General Secretary
     21 February 2005