Over the last 10 years, the trade union movement in Georgia has been operating in very difficult circumstances. With very weak labour and employment legislation on the one had and a series of anti-trade union governments on the other.
Despite political changes towards the end of 2012, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) continues to classify Georgia as one of a number of countries around the work that are "at risk", as highlighted in its latest annual survey of violations of trade union rights.
The general elections in 2012 saw the ruling United National Movement Party (UNMP) defeated by the Georgian Dream Party, although President Saakashvili of the UNMP remains in post until presidential elections in October 2013.
The new government has made some concessions on the Labour Code. While conceding that this is a small step in the right direction, the ITUC argues that the Code fails to protect workers’ health and safety, and also allows employers to conduct mass dismissals without any prior consultation with unions as is guaranteed by the provisions of the European Social Charter which Georgia has signed to.
The ITUC also says that the Code places unreasonable restrictions on the right to strike and provides inadequate regulation of working hours, maternity protection and compensation for overtime and night work.
The ILO NATLEX database entry for Georgia provides information on how the government is applying or failing to apply the ILO Conventions it has signed up to as well as details of complaints against it.
EPSU has three affiliates in Georgia.