President Misled Unemployed Residents of Rustavi
Manon Bokuchava, Kvemo Kartli
President Saakashvili visited Rustavi a week ago and attended the re-opening ceremony of the Georgian-Italian leather enterprise which now “started working at full speed;” the enterprise was opened a year ago. At least, the national TV-Channels spread similar information. The workers said all machines were already working in the factory and they cannot understand why the president visited the enterprise.
“People should know about it! A technologist has a salary of 1 500 GEL in this factory. However, people study the professions which have less perspective of employment in the country. Then they complain about unemployment,” said the president during his conversation with the director of the enterprise Vakhtang Nikoleishvili.
Later he introduced an employee of the enterprise “employed Khatia” who said she had salary of 600 GEL and the factory administration also covered her food and transportation expenses as well as the medical insurance. The president asked several questions to the factory director who started speaking about the perspective of increasing the enterprise. “We intend to employ the double more people in future,” said Nikoleishvili. In reply to his statement, next day the human resource department of the enterprise stopped working.
“We cannot accept any vacancy application before September 27. It was ordered by the administration. About two hundred people have already applied to us today,” said the security guard of the factory to the people standing at the entrance. He explained to us that after the reportage was shown on TV, a lot of people have applied to them.
“Although we plan to increase the enterprise, more precisely to start production of the leather, it will happen in about half a year. We will start employment of new people by that time. I made this statement on TV,” said Vakhtang Nikoleishvili.
He added that the enterprise currently produces only semi-product of the leather. They get the raw materials from every region of Georgia. The only problem in the factory, which employs 170 people, is lack of leather technologists. “Since we do not have technologists in the country, we invited the professional from Italy. He is teaching the technology to the people we have selected. If they learn the technology well within 6-8 months, they will be employed in our factory,” said Nikoleishvili.
During our visit in the factory, groups of people were coming to the enterprise in seek of employment. The security guard sent them back and then they explained the situation to other people who were going to the factory for the same purpose; everybody was leaving the area in disappointment.
“What did the director say? Do they employ new people?! The president made such a statement we thought it was our chance for better life. Now we are going home disappointed,” said 34-year-old resident of Rustavi Irakli Gobejishvili.
Only the drivers of the mini-bus # 4 got profit from the statement of the president. This is the only itinerary running to the leather factory in the suburb of the city.
“Are you also going to the factory for employment? Why did not you tell me from the very beginning where you were going? You would not have wasted the money on transportation. I have already brought almost every resident of the city here but none of them returned home employed or happy,” said the driver of the mini-bus in condolence.
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