We want to respond to the facts of injuries of employees of supermarket "Spar" over the past few months and once again call on the Georgian authorities to ensure safe working conditions and protection of labor rights.
For years, service workers, and especially retailers, have indicated that they have to work in a life-threatening environment. According to them, due to the absence of security guards, the dangers are particularly high when they work night shifts. This situation has often been the subject of studies and reports prepared by trade unions and labor organizations working on labor rights.
Although employers know and anticipate these threats, they refuse to provide retail outlets with security guards. The death of Mate Jomidava, an employee of the "Spar", was not a precondition for the Georgian government to take effective action and, consequently, failed to prevent a recurrence.
We recognize that the protection of labor rights in the service sector and the elimination of labor exploitation require radical reform. In addition to the lack of security, the issue of working and overtime, minimum wages, vacation, and all other fundamental rights is the critical importance. However, we believe given the current situation, the government should immediately respond to the risks of damage to life and health and, among other measures, oblige companies operating in the service sector to ensure the presence of security personnel in the workplace.
Accordingly, we call on the Labor Conditions Inspection Department to carry out immediate inspections of "Spar" and other retail outlets, detect violations and impose responsibilities on the company.
At the same time, we call on the Parliament of Georgia not to postpone the fundamental reform of the Labor Code and respond to the severe challenges in the service sector.
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)
Solidarity Network – Workers’ Center (SNWC)
Independent Labor Union “Union of Social Workers”
Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA)
Independent Labor Union “Unity 2013“
Public Broadcasting Labor Union
Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)