BY THE GENERAL CONFEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
14 November 2007
During the last days, the situation in Georgia where an affiliate of the General Confederation of Trade Unions
operates has seriously aggravated.
A peaceful people’s demonstration has been dispersed in Tbilisi by order of President M. Saakashvili and with the
use of brutal force. A state of emergency has been introduced in the country whereby considerable restrictions
have been imposed on many basic rights and freedoms of citizens and on the media activities, while practically all
TV-channels have been closed and some opposition leaders have been subjected to arbitrary arrests or expelled
from Georgia. The pre-term presidential elections set for January, with the pre-election campaign proceeding
largely in such conditions, will hardly result in the reconciliation of the existing political contradictions in the
The current events are taking place against the background of a deep economic crisis. Georgia ranks one of the
worst in the Commonwealth of Independent States as regards major social indicators characterising the living
standards of the population. It was more than once that measures infringing upon trade union rights have been
introduced and interference in internal affairs of the Georgian trade union movement have been undertaken.
Also, it should not be forgotten that the new draft Labour Code has been developed and adopted without
consultations with the Georgian Trade Union Confederation, and some of its provisions are in direct contradiction
with the fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation. This is specifically noted in the report
by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations. It is no wonder that
the recent actions by the Georgian state authorities have been condemned by the world trade union
The General Confederation of Trade Unions affiliating national trade union centres from nine CIS countries and
31 industrial trade union internationals of the region expresses its deep concern over the course of events in
Georgia and their potential consequences.
The GCTU calls upon the Georgian state authorities to take urgent steps to normalise the situation in the country
on the basis of cancelling the state of emergency, returning to constitutional order, preparing and holding the
presidential elections in the atmosphere of peace and democracy, and taking due account of the true opinion of
the Georgian workers and people.
General Confederation of Trade Unions
Moscow, 14 November 2007