A 36-day strike by Sairme Mineral Waters workers has won better working conditions and higher wages. IUF affiliate Georgian Trade Union of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Workers gained important improvements, despite strong anti-union campaigning by the employer and the government including the arrest of several strikers. Management was also forced to rescind their threat to terminate the workers en masse for striking.
The strike led to negotiations where the workers achieved:
- A 22.5% wage increase
- Increase in wages by 34% in the case of night work
- Annual wage indexation
- Compensation for overtime and holiday pay with a 25% increase
Giorgi Diasamidze, Chairman of the Georgian Trade Union of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Workers stated: “It was a very difficult struggle. The employer, authorities, politicians, and sometimes the weather fought against us. But we survived and won! We all the time felt the support of our colleagues both in Georgia and in other countries of the world. Thank you again for your support! We hope that Sairme Mineral Waters will become a good employer and will claim the title of a leading international brand in the future.”