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Unemployment Rate Doubled in Georgia

Unemployment Rate Doubled in Georgia

The Government Boasts of Success, however Massive Dismissals in the Public Service have been Carried out Illegally

Structural changes carried out in governmental facilities have resulted in a  massive dismissal of staff. Labour and social rights of the many citizens dismissed from their working positions have been flagrantly violated. These public service workers  are not even informed of their dismissal at the time that it happens, so that they continue working and only learn of their dismissal at the end of the month when it is time for them to receive their salary. As a result, the number of socially unprotected people has increased dramatically and catastrophically, the  unemployment rate in Georgia has  doubled.

The government in power since the Rose Revolution in Georgia has made structural changes in almost all their governmental facilities, causing tens of thousands of people to become unemployed. The government considers this process to be  natural and explains it as a decline in their bureaucracy apparatus. However, although this process may be inevitable and necessary, these citizens’ labour rights are often violated at the time of their dismissal.  According to the spread information the citizens are dismissed without any notice and they learn of their dismissal at the end of the month when it is the time for them to receive their salary. Furthermore, those who are dismissed leave without any other employment prospects.

Irakli Tugushi, Chairman of the Georgian Trade Union protests the illegal dismissal of these citizens and demands that a Governmental Committee be established to study the violations of rights resulting from these dismissals and  to defend the  labour and social rights of the victims. Tugushi has recently stated that  “despite the positive changes going on in the country which were reflected in the government giving the salaries, paying of old debts and increasing of the pensions” the “ labour rights are flagrantly violated during the process of structural changes.” Representatives of the Georgian Trade Union call on the government to address the problem of these illegal dismissals, and threaten that otherwise they will hold protest actions beginning on February 1, 2005.

Independent experts have also expressed the concern that although in theory the dismissal of people from their jobs might create new jobs for others, in reality the rate of dismissal is far higher than the rate of creation of new jobs.
According to Soso Tsiskarishvili, an economic expert, the reorganization of governmental structures does not mean  that jobs available within the government must necessarily decrease. Tsiskarishvili recently stated “reorganization of the ministries started at the same time which causes drain of the human resources. This process is mechanical. The government had the obligation to offer employment program to dismissed people”.

Zurab Tkemaladze, a local MP, thinks that the government is obliged to solve the problem of unemployment for the dismissed people and at least give them compensation. Tkemaladze cannot help but express his alarm regarding the massive dismissals and believes that the government purposefully made legislative changes in order to avoid giving compensation to those dismissed illegally.

Prepared by Nino Bestavashvili based on the information of Media News


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