Almost 100 health service workers, teachers and artists held a peaceful demonstration to call for higher wages outside of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Representative Office in Ulaanbaatar on October 16.
Head of the Mongolia Health Workers’ Union B.Myagmar noted that the three sectors have been demanding the state to increase their salary multiple times but haven’t seen results to this day. He complained that this is partially connected to Mongolia’s enrollment in IMF’s extended fund facility.
“The government agreed not to increase wages at all and remain stagnant through 2018 under the IMF extended fund facility agreement. Due to this program, our fight has reached a deadlock. Trade unions don’t do politics. I strictly want to remind not to mix this demonstration with politics. It’s time for us to receive constant support,” he said.
“The state no longer takes care of talented artists who have been working in the arts and cultural sector all their life to promote the country’s reputation worldwide. We have united the protest as we’ve been deceived for many years that the state would resolve our financial and wage issues,” stated Kh.Tamir, the Head of the State Academic Theater of Opera and Dance’s trade union. “Everyone in our sector will take part in the strike.”
Reportedly, a labor broker was assigned to resolve the issue, and the government, trade unions and employers were supposed to meet last week to receive recommendations from the broker but the meeting was canceled as not enough Cabinet members came.
The protesters announced that they now have a valid reason to strike for an undetermined period of time starting from October 23.