Coal truck driv­ers’ fam­i­lies threaten to go on hunger strike

The UB Post - - Front Page - By R.UNDARIYA

The Mon­go­lian Men’s De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (MMDA) and the Ta­van Tol­goi coal trans­port driv­ers’ fam­i­lies have held a press con­fer­ence on Novem­ber 27. As of now, around 13,000 driv­ers of 160 com­pa­nies are trans­port­ing coal from Ta­van Tol­goi to Gashuun Sukhait.

Due to Mon­go­lia’s goal to in­crease coal ex­ports, there have been in­creased lev­els of traf­fic of coal trucks at the bor­der, but due to low ca­pac­ity and tech­no­log­i­cal up­grades at the bor­der, the line of trucks has elon­gated sub­stan­tially.

Due to this, the driv­ers are un­der se­vere pres­sure and their men­tal state is de­te­ri­o­rat­ing, ac­cord­ing to their fam­ily. Th­ese driv­ers are trans­port­ing coal in the most dif­fi­cult con­di­tions to feed their fam­i­lies. There have also been fre­quent oc­cur­rences of al­co­hol ad­dic­tion, in­crease in ac­ci­dents and loss of lives.

The MMDA met with over 500 driv­ers and con­ducted a sur­vey, which has found that the driv­ers have grown de­pen­dent on al­co­hol and are suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion, bring­ing sig­nif­i­cant amounts of stress to their fam­i­lies. The as­so­ci­a­tion said that as op­posed to mak­ing money, they are ac­tu­ally fac­ing much loss and that this is not the prob­lem of only the 13,000 driv­ers, but con­cerns 40,000 to 50,000 peo­ple. The MMDA con­cluded that the driv­ers are work­ing in dan­ger­ous con­di­tions and called on find­ing ap­pro­pri­ate res­o­lu­tion to the is­sue.

The two groups also is­sued a de­mand to the gov­ern­ment and min­ing com­pa­nies that hired the driv­ers so that they are pro­vided a de­cent ac­com­mo­da­tion and food as driv­ers of­ten spend days in line to pass through the bor­der.

The Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs was tasked with cre­at­ing a con­sul­ta­tion depart­ment to pro­tect cit­i­zens' rights out­side the bor­der of Mon­go­lia.

The groups de­manded a re­sponse and ini­tia­tive from the gov­ern­ment by Novem­ber 30, and threat­ened to carry out a hunger strike if their de­mands aren’t met.

‘..Driv­ers are un­der se­vere pres­sure and their men­tal state is


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