Lauren Hypson (Health and Safety Executive) moved a motion highlighting the conditions faced by working people and trade unions in the Caucasian country of Georgia.
In 2006, the Georgian government abolished its labour inspectorate, the body that ensures workers are protected from dangerous employers. Since then, more than 460 workers have lost their lives, particularly in mining.
Hypson told conference that although some progress had recently been made towards better labour laws, there is still some way to go before international conventions are upheld.
Responding on behalf of the NEC, deputy general secretary Garry Graham said Prospect would write to the Georgian trade unions “to express our solidarity and support.”
Delegates backed the call for the national executive committee to:
- require the general secretary to write to the Georgian Trade Union Confederation expressing Prospect’s solidarity with their campaign
- encourage members to support the campaign
- lobby politicians to encourage the United Kingdom government and the devolved administrations to put pressure on the Georgian government to bring in laws that comply with International Labour Organisation conventions
- work with the Trades Union Congress to support trade unionists in Georgia
- require the general secretary to write to the Foreign Secretary, raising Prospect members’ concern and seeking a governmental challenge to the position via diplomatic channels.