16 October, 2020The first ever picket in Mongolia’s energy sector gathered more than 20 workers at the state-owned Thermal Power Plant 2 SSH Co. (TPP2) on 12 October, with protestors raising their voices over violence against women union leaders and rampant nepotism in the company.
The workers, affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union through Federation of Energy, Geology and Mining Workers’ Trade Unions of Mongolia (MEGM), called on the government to act against a company head who assaulted MEGM’s company level union leader when she called out the company’s practices of nepotism.
The local branch of MEGM has campaigned against nepotism since June, demanding that the company stop hiring relatives of top management. These well-connected workers enjoy higher wages and benefits than other staff with higher positions.
MEGM president Buyanjargal Khuyag says:
“We strongly condemn the violence against a union leader. After the picket, we met with the minister of mineral resources and energy and demanded that action be taken to deal with the brutality and nepotism in the company.
“The minister promised to appoint a new chief executive officer for TPP2 and that executives involved in the violence and nepotism will be dismissed, if they are to blame. The ministry will also set up a working group to study workers’ demands.”
IndustriALL South East Asia regional secretary Annie Adviento says:
“I congratulate MEGM for taking swift action and defending women workers’ rights. This violent incidence shows the importance of eliminating violence in the world of work. I hope the Mongolian government, trade unions and employer association can push for the ratification of ILO Convention 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work.”
Photo captions: Workers on picket, MEGM resident Buyanjargal Khuyag, acts of violence caught on camera