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TELASI employees strike

By Ana Robakidze
Wednesday, November 21
Employees of the joint stock company TELASI have gone on strike again, this time expressing solidarity to those people who were fired– the strikers say unfairly. Six of the former employees have been on a hunger strike for about a week now. However, their query to be returned to their jobs has not been addressed thus far. A demonstration was held in front of the company headquarters.

None of the TELASI business centers are working due to the strike. However, the citizens will be provided with power continuously.

TELASI employees say that several of their colleagues were fired unlawfully by the former director Zurab Arsoshvili. A special commission which was created in the company to study the case made a decision that the employees should be rehired. But, the general director– Ashot Manukian, has never signed the necessary papers. Allegedly he escaped to Armenia after being questioned by the prosecutor’s office. Manukian is the only person in TELASI management authorized to sign the documents and hire employees, but it is unknown when he will return to Georgia.

The head of the Trade Unions, Irakli Petriashvili, says that the company management has been irresponsible, and lacks the intention of solving the problem.

Kakhi Kaladze decided to serve as a mediator to help the dismissed TELASI employees with the problem. Kaladze met with the strikers and trade union representatives on November 20. The parties decided to create a joint commission, which will study the case of each of the 125 fired employees individually.

The ministry is not authorized to directly interfere in TELASI's business, as it is a private company. Therefore, it will be act as a mediator only, in order to finally settle the dispute between the employees and the company management. The joint commission will begin to work from November 21. Kaladze also promised to address the government’s attention to the problem at the upcoming cabinet meeting at the State Chancellery.

The former employees decided to stop their hunger strike after Kaladze asked them to do so. However, demonstrations will continue and neither company's business centers will be opened soon.