Time for Batumi court to act in case of social workers fired in 2020 purge

8 Dec, 2022

The Georgia Fair Labor Platform condemns the Batumi City Court’s ongoing delay in considering the case of three fired social workers and calls on the court to consider their labor disputes in a timely manner.

On January 29, 2020, the employment contracts of 33 social workers at the Social Service Agency (including senior social workers) were terminated as part of an agency restructuring. The firings were highly irregular in that the termination notices did not contain proper justifications. Most of those who challenged their dismissals have already successfully completed their labor disputes.[1]

In contrast, the labor dispute of three social workers who brought their case before Batumi City Court has yet to be heard. They first filed their lawsuit with the court on March 11, 2020, with the help of the Adjara branch of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA).

Current procedural rules require the court to consider labor disputes no later than one month from the receipt of the application. However, nearly three years later, the court has yet to schedule the case.

The termination orders of the three social workers did not contain any legal justification for their dismissals, meaning there is a legal basis for them to win their case. Their case is further supported by the fact that Fair Labor Platform members have won 18 similar disputes that arose from the same wave of terminations.

Despite the problem of overcrowding in the courts, we believe that the delay in this case has stretched beyond reasonable time limits. Instead of restoring the social workers’ labor rights through effective justice, the court is essentially prolonging their victimization.

We call on the Batumi City Court to ensure a timely and fair resolution in the case of the dismissed social workers and to schedule court sessions in a timely manner.

This statement is endorsed by the following member organizations of the Fair Labor Platform:

  • Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA)
  • Union of Social Workers;
  • Social Justice Center;
  • Tbilisi Metropolitan Independent Trade Union – “Ertoba 2013”
  • Trade Union of Healthcare and Service Sectors – “Solidarity Network”;

[1] The Social Justice Center, GYLA and Solidarity Network successfully completed 18 cases on behalf of social workers dismissed in the same wave of terminations: https://socialjustice.org.ge/ka/products/sotsialuri-samartlianobis-tsentrma-saiam-da-solnetma-gatavisuflebuli-sotsialuri-mushakebis-18-sakme-tsarmatebit-daasrula

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