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Employees of “Adjara Textile” Complain about Low Salaries and Degrading Treatment from Managers

11.12.2009
                                            Maka Malakmadze, Batumi

Employees of “Adjara Textile” complain about hard working conditions against Turkish owners of the company. The Company Administration did not allow more than 100 employees to leave the yard. The gate was locked even for Human Rights Centre.

In the morning of December 10, factory workers were going to leave job. But administration did not allow them. “Adjara Textile” works for PUMA. The building of textile factory is surrounded with high stone wall and two gates are locked from the morning every day. Security guard opened and closed the gate according to the order of policeman in civil clothes. We tried to converse with him, but he said he was not a policeman but a local resident.

Three police cars and about 15 policemen were deployed near the building. They explained to the Human Rights Centre that they were protecting public order. They neither denied nor confirmed that factory administration called them.

More than 100 employees were in the yard of the factory at that time. They were trying to go out in the street. They threw sheets of paper from the yard to inform us what was going on. The Human Rights Centre managed to interview them in the corner of the gate. Employees of “Adjara Textile” have a list of problems.

“They treat us like slaves and workers. We have low salaries. We are paid 44 Tetri per hour. They do not give us days-off on official holidays in accordance to the Law of Georgia. We cannot stop working even for two minutes. They make us work from morning till late evening – 8, 9 :00pm.”

“Everybody treats us badly. They pay 44 tetri per hour. Employees from Turkey are paid much more. We want to inform television about this, but they do not let us out and no one is allowed to enter.”

“They insult and physically assault us. They tell us if we do not like working here, we can go. Now we want to leave but they do not allow us,” said one of the employees Leila Khurtsilava.

When we inquired why the Human Rights Centre was not allowed into the factory, security guard replied: “we guard the factory and follow the instructions given by the administration. It is my job”.

We tried to call the factory administration. Somebody answered our call but could not promise we could meet the administration.

“Adjara Textile” was opened by the president Mikheil Saakashvili and the head of Adjara autonomous republic Levan Varshalomidze. The factory is located in the village Bobokvati in Kobuleti district. President Saakashvili said he hoped members of Georgian sport teams will wear uniforms sewed in this factory. Reportedly, “Adjara Textile” was to produce various famous sport brands.

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