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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 24
Traffic to Be Restricted on Freedom Square on May 22-26

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) made a statement regarding traffic restrictions on Freedom Square in Tbilisi from May 22 to May 26.

The MIA says that traffic movement will be restored on May 26 when the festive events in connection to Georgia’s Independence Day are over.

"Patrol Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs informs that traffic movement will be restricted on Freedom Square in Tbilisi on May 22, at 12:00 am, in relation to the Independence Day of Georgia. Cars from Kote Abkhazi and Shalva Dadiani streets will move towards Pushkin Street. The movement will be restored on May 26, at the end of the event," the MIA statement reads.

On May 26 special festive events will take place in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi.

Museum venues, theatre troupes, universities and other institutions are organizing public talks, various events and performances to mark the 100th anniversary of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia.

In one of the principal events, armed forces recruits from six locations across Georgia will take their oath at the Freedom Square.

Tbilisi Metro Workers to strike on June 3

Head of Tbilisi Metro workers union – “Unity 2013”, Rati Kapanadze accused Tbilisi City Hall and Court of artificial prolongation of court proceedings.

On May 21, Tbilisi City Court stated that metro workers can go on strike, but only in working hours, which caused the dissatisfaction of the workers and NGOs, working on human rights.

Kapanadze said the union still intended to go ahead with the strike, but said they had not come to an agreement over when it would begin.

“We will have to go on a strike and stop Metropolitan on June 3. We will not obey the unlawful decision made by the Court and will use the constitutionally granted right,” stated Kapanadze.

After the Georgian court ruled that protesting subway workers can strike only during working hours, activists held a protest rally at metro Rustaveli, saying an unlawful decision sets a dangerous precedent for restricting workers' rights in the country.

Union representatives noted that the decision contravenes the very definition of a strike, which is a refusal to work in order to express protest over their labor conditions.

Part of the Tbilisi Metro Workers directly addressed the Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze to find time without any mediators to personally talk to the workers and listen to the problems they have regarding the salaries and improper work conditions.

Tuesday’s demonstration was organized by local rights group the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Centre (EMC), the Solidarity Network — Workers’ Center, a workers advocacy group, and student movement Auditorium 115. Protesters claim that the court ruling was a restriction of the employee’s rights.
(By Mariam Chanishvili)