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Rustavi Azoti workers sue the company after being dismissed

13 March 2017
Protest of Nitrogen plant workers in Rustavi, 1 February (Tatuli Chubabria)

Fifty-eight former employees of a fertiliser plant in Rustavi, a town 20 km south of Tbilisi, who were dismissed earlier in 2017, are suing the owner in Rustavi City Court. They claim they were illegally dismissed and are demanding their jobs back as well as compensation.

After more than 350 workers at the factory were fired by the company’s new management, they staged several protest rallies in front of the factory in Rustavi as well as in Tbilisi. However, only a small number of these are disputing the case in court.

The claimants have indicated that if they are given their jobs back, they must also be reimbursed for the time they couldn’t work. The Georgian Trade Union Confederation (GTUC) will defend the rights of the protesters, Netgazeti reported.

Personnel from the Azoti fertiliser factory were fired en masse on 26 January. Workers who showed up to work that day discovered that their working passes had been blocked and they were not asked to sign new work agreements.

The company’s press service explained that the factory’s owners had changed and that the new management had decided to dismiss the employees due to a ‘crisis’, but promised they would rehire them if they needed them in the future. The dismissals started after the plant was bought by a company called EU Investment.

Rallies were held in response to the mass dismissals in front of the central office of the Bank of Georgia. The protesters were angry that the owner of the EU Investment company is a holding company named BGO Group, which is also a majority shareholder of the Bank of Georgia.

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