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Journalists Set Up Independent Trade Union

April 22, 2010
Shorena Kakabadze, Kutaisi

“There are a lot of problems in Georgian media today and everybody knows it. We should incorporate and protect our rights,” organizing committee of the Independent Trade Union of Journalists informed the Kutaisi based journalists about their initiative last week. The meeting was only informatory one.

At the meeting, which was attended by the representatives of the local media-sources, the participants said that establishment of similar organization was caused by urgent necessity of support for media; particularly when media is in poor situation.

Beka Oniani, committee member of the Independent Trade Union of Journalists: “Creation of the Trade Union is necessary because of current situation on labor market. It is fact that today, in Georgia employed people are not protected in any field, mostly in media. It is also fact that we do not have good labor law. We had an idea to create independent trade union of journalists alongside the trade unions of teachers, miners, etc. We are also employed people and we are also unprotected (in accordance to the labor code).”

Participants of the meeting spoke about the current Labor Code of Georgia which is completely discriminative and does not protect the rights of the employees at all.

“Recently, facts of breached labor rights have increased and the current Labor Code of Georgia supports this situation greatly. The rights of the employees are not protected at all. The Labor Code allows the employer to fire the employee without any explanations. There are a lot of examples of similar violations. The independent Trade Union will be the organization which will prevent similar violations,” said the participants.

“Justice, solidarity and faith – these are the keystones which should unify journalists and encourage them to do much good job. Why should not we use the tribune when we have it? The initiative group is made up of 11 representatives of various media-sources. The initiative group will be later the active part of the TU. This group will prepare everything and later the chairperson will be elected on the session. Maybe, the future chairperson will not be the member of the current initiative group,” said Beka Oniani.

Marika Vacharadze, journalist: “I think it is good to create professional union for journalists too. It will assist us in our activities; we will support each other and express solidarity towards each other when it is necessary.”

All in all, soon Trade Union of Journalists will join trade unions of other professions. Before that, the committee members are organizing informatory meetings in various regions of Georgia.