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Human Rights Center appeals large-scale dismissal of GPB employees in the court

18.10.2018

Human Rights Center, in cooperation with the Trade Union of the Georgian Public Broadcasting, appealed the Tbilisi City Court on October 18 to defend the rights of the dismissed employees of the GPB. 

HRC believes the GPB offered the employees to substantially amend the contract agreement, which offered unlawful conditions and finally the process ended up with illegal dismissal of dozens of employees from the GPB.

More precisely, in September 2018, GPB offered a labor agreement to the employees, which envisaged only the interests of the employer and the responsibilities of the employees did not meet the Georgian legislation and international standards. The new contract completely changed the working conditions for the employees that mean they had to switch to hourly working regime. As for remuneration, it would be calculated according to the performed work. The contract offered daily tariff but minimal amount of the working days were not determined that means that an employer may not get a day-work either. According to the same contract, the employee was prohibited to work in other media companies in parallel to GPB.

Considering the offered conditions, it was analogue to dismissal of the employees. The employees were given three days to make the decision. Refusal on the proposal meant dismissal from job and the legal ground of the dismissal was Article 37 Part 1 “n” of the Labor Code of Georgia that is obscure provision and does not provide concrete basis for dismissal.

Trade Union of the GPB appealed the Minister of Labor, Healthcare and Social Issues of Georgia to start mediation. During the mediation, the employees requested to determine minimal amount of working days in the contract. They also requested the employer to define and verify based on which criteria they selected the employees, which whom the contracts were amended. The employer did not change its position and the employees could not receive answer to their requests. In the process of mediation, the employer could not respect the interests of the employees, failed to respect fair and balanced labor relationships. 

After the unsuccessful mediation, after the employees rejected the unfair proposal, their labor contracts were suspended. Based on the Article 38 Part 4 and 5 of the Labor Code of Georgia they petitioned the employer and requested clarifications about the suspended labor contracts. However, the GPB delivered standard clarifications to all dismissed employees and stated that they were dismissed because of not accepting the new proposal. 

In order to defend the rights of arbitrarily dismissed employees of the GPB, HRC and Trade Union of GPB appealed the court. They request to annul the dismissal orders, to restore them to working places and to reimburse missed salaries. The appeal was lodged to the Tbilisi City Court on October 18, 2018. 

Human Rights Center

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