Workers of Khaidarkan Mercury Plant have been participating in a sit-in strike since May 13, the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Mining and Metallurgical Trade Union Eldar Tadzhibaev reported.
According to him, the project of the Global Environment Facility has been operating in Kyrgyzstan for several years. The facility is lobbying for Kyrgyzstan to join the Minamata Convention, which provides for a total ban on mercury processing.
“In 2017, new investors came to Khaidarkan Mercury Plant — Severstal LLC — and started production of mercury, antimony and fluorite. The company employs about 400 people. In the future, they plan to increase the number of employees to 600. The plant pays wages and taxes on time. There are prospects for expanding production, but some officials and council members stand for adoption of the Minamata Convention, which will stop the plant,” Eldar Tadzhibaev said. “The current strike is not the first one. Rumors that Kyrgyzstan may join the convention arise periodically. People hold protests, and everything is silent. Then everything repeats”.
“Employees appealed to the country’s top leadership and local governments with a request not to allow closure of the enterprise. The sit-in strike does not affect production; work is carried out in usual mode. Employees who are on vacation and not engaged in production take turns in the strike. The strike is indefinite. The closure of the plant should not be allowed,” the head of the trade union summed up. (24.kg/Ukrainian metal)