Railway workers hold a press conference at Mongol News press center

The Mongolia Railway Workers’ Trade Union declared that it will hold a demonstration against the government’s decision to raise the retirement age and personal income tax of railway workers during a press conference held on January 3.

“Last December, we discussed this issue with representatives from the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions, parliamentary standing committee members, and then the prime minister. We submitted official letters against it but the issue wasn’t settled. Therefore, we’re announcing that we will elevate our form of protest and demonstrate,” said D.Bayaraa, the head of the union.

The group of railway workers present at the press conference complained that lifting their retirement age is not appropriate when they perform heavy labor throughout the day.

“We do not pay out personal income tax by sitting in front of a desk all day. Railway workers work day and night under abnormal conditions. A total of 15,000 people work in the railway sector. A half of them, exactly 7,071 people, do abnormal labor and 30 percent of them are women,” one of them said.

They also noted that their working condition needs to improve before going through with the changes to their social responsibilities.

Head of the Ulaanbaatar Union of Locomotive Specialists B.Narankhuu shared the result of a study that concluded that more than 400 railway workers were working in hazardous conditions in 2014. He questioned whether it’s correct to their extend retirement age and impose higher income tax when these problems haven’t been addressed.

“Railway workers risk their health and life to work extra hours for a better pay,” he said and advised the government to find a better solution or take a different approach to the issue.


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