Kumtor workers go on indefinite strike in Kyrgyzstan
On February 7 workers of the Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan went on indefinite strike. They demand compensation for rising contributions to the government insurance fund.
KYRGYZSTAN: Workers of the Kumtor gold mine went on indefinite strike on February 7 following a one-hour warning strike on January 28. They demand compensation for rising contributions to the government insurance fund as well as compensation for the family of the worker who died after a workplace accident.
Mining and Metallurgy Trade Union of Kyrgyzstan (MMTUK), an IMF affiliate, claims that the employer hadn't paid full contributions to the government insurance fund for many years. When the government compelled the company to do so, it began withdrawing the contributions from workers' wages.
Striking workers are also demanding compensation for the family of Asanbek Orozaliev, who died after a workplace accident. The company didn't pay the compensation even after the court decision.
Despite the warning strike, the employer rejected the demands of the mining workers. They went on indefinite strike as they had promised to do if their demands are not met.
IMF regional representative Vadim Borisov informed the affiliates in CIS countries about the strike. Mining unions from Kazakhstan and Ukraine sent letters of solidarity.
IMF general secretary Jyrki Raina also sent a letter of protest to Robert Wander, president of Kumtor Operating Company. The company is currently owned by Canadian-based Centerra Gold.
“The union will keep fighting for the demands of Kumtor workers until these demands are met,” states MMTUK president Eldar Tadzhibaev.Feb 09, 2012 – Ilya Matveev