On May 18 after three weeks of mediation between the company and the recently established union failed, 350 workers at two Borjomi mineral water plants in Georgia went on strike demanding higher salaries and better working conditions. The operations of both factories fully stopped.
The eight day strike produced key advances for the new union:
- IDS Borjomi Georgia agreed to recognize the union and to begin collective bargaining
- In negotiations with the union to end the strike, Borjomi agreed to increase workers’ salaries by 20%-30%, to pay overtime and not to retaliate against any strikers
“During the pandemic many employers tried to cut salaries and social protection costs, but now we are fighting back. Through our organization and with the support of workers in Georgia and IUF affiliates around the world, we are winning,” stated Giorgi Diasamidze, Chair of the Georgian Agriculture, Commercial and Industry Workers Union.