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Landmark judgement against Rio Tinto in Mongolian court

15 October, 2013The Supreme Court in Mongolia has ordered Rio Tinto to reinstate an unfairly dismissed employee, as well as to pay compensation.

Gantuya was dismissed from work by Rio Tinto for protesting against discrimination over the remuneration paid to Mongolian employees. The unequal remuneration pay between Mongolian nationals and expatriates translate into a disparity of MNT 3 million for local Mongolian workers at Rio Tinto, to MNT 30 million for expatriates a month on average.

The Ministry of Labor has confirmed that Oyu tolgoi and Rio Tinto were in violation of Clause #8.1 of the OT IA “in the most blatant, wanton manner and never made a single step towards enforcing this  obligation”. The Supreme Court ruled that the termination of Gantuya employmentwas unjust and unlawful.

The ruling of the Supreme Court was the final arbiter over Rio Tinto’s intransigence and arrogance to refuse two lower court judgements in favour of Gantuya. Rio Tinto took the matter on appeal to the Supreme Court and lost. 

IndustriALL Global Union applauds this important victory, and Assistant Secretary General Kemal Özkan says:  

This is a huge victory not only for Sainkhuu Gantuya, but for all workers in Mongolia, especially at Oyu Tolgo. This is a significant and important pushback against Rio Tinto, particularly in the context of IndustriALL Global Union’s global corporate campaign against Rio Tinto.