1 March, 2021After nationwide protests, Mongolian trade unions have won the fight against a hike in social insurance premiums, which increased the premium from 24 to 26 per cent as of 1 January 2021.
On 26 Feb, while chairing the national tripartite meeting with representatives of trade unions and employers’ association, Mongolia’s minister of labour and social protection, A. Ariunzaya, conceded to the unions’ demands and announced that the government would scrap the controversial policy.
The social insurance premium in Mongolia covers various benefits, including pensions, industrial accidents, unemployment and health insurance. Prior to the hike, employers’ and employees’ contribution rates were 12.5 per cent and 11.5 per cent, respectively.
The president of Federation of Energy, Geology and Mining Workers’ Trade Unions of Mongolia (MEGM), Buyanjargal Khuyag, says :
“We thank the government for listening to the voice of workers. The majority of Mongolian workers oppose the premium hike, since they cannot enjoy many benefits after their retirement at 60. The average lifespan of Mongolian men and women are 66 and 76.”
Early February, the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) mobilized its 200.000 members in its 14 sectoral and 22 regional affiliates and held nationwide online demonstrations or face-to-face protests, demanding that the government stop the premium hike.
IndustriALL Global Union’s two Mongolian affiliates, MEGM and Mongolian Industrial Workers Trade Union Federation (MITUF) are affiliated to the CMTU.
Working together with CMTU, MEGM’s all branches started a petition campaign to stop the premium hike, until today it has collected 4,759 signatures from members in energy and mine sectors.
MEGM organized several online briefings with branch leaders, getting members to join social media campaigns by snapping and sharing photos online. Union members are advised to send text messages of their concerns to their members of parliament.
IndustriALL South East Asia regional secretary Annie Adviento says:
“We congratulate our affiliates on this union win. The government should amend the law to allow workers’ next of kin to receive the benefits, pension funds belong to workers.”