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‘No year without deaths’: A decade of deregulation puts Georgian miners at risk

Author: Human Rights Watch, Published on: 28 August 2019

...Based on interviews with over 80 people, including workers in a coal and a manganese mine in Georgia and their families, trade unions, lawyers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), representatives of international organizations, representatives of the Labor Inspectorate and the Labor Ministry, and members of Parliament, this report finds that workers’ safety in mines continues to be at serious risk due to insufficient regulation by the government and resulting mining practices that prioritize production quotas and put workers’ safety in jeopardy. We documented that coal and manganese mining practices of imposing quotas, and wage deductions for failure to meet quotas, have the effect of incentivizing workers and supervisors to compromise worker safety. A new system of manganese mining, implemented in 2016, further exacerbates safety concerns. The system introduced 12-hour shifts, including at night, over 15 consecutive days, with no days off or formal breaks during shifts. It currently affects 380 manganese workers and imposes an obligation to reside in employer-provided accommodation where workers are provided with poor quality food of insufficient calorific value and endure restrictions on their freedom of movement. The report highlights other practices that violate workers’ rights. These include long hours and no weekly rest, nonpayment of overtime hours, failure to provide copies of written contracts, and management’s deduction from wages...

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Related companies: Georgian Manganese LLC Saknakhshiri Ltd. (part of GIG Group)