On August 23-24 of this year, the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan Satybaldy Dauletalin held several working meetings in the Karaganda region.

The first of them took place at a depth of 700 meters in the lava of the Tusup Kuzembayev mine in the city of Saran. On the eve of Satybaldy Dauletalin, accompanied by representatives of the mine management and trade union activists, went down to the second work shift to the team working at the mining site №2.

The miners of the shift noted that for the first time in the history of the mine, visitors came to the site during the working shift.

“Usually, all delegations come to the safest first shift in the morning, when the mechanisms and equipment have not yet been started, maintenance and preparation of the sites for the miners’ work are underway. You are the first people I have seen here in 28 years of work” 59-year-old Oleg Karezin, a machinist of mining and excavation machines of the production service of the T.Kuzembayev Mine of the Coal Department of JSC «ArcelorMittal Temirtau» said at the meeting in lava.

The Chairman of the FTURK Satybaldy Dauletalin expressed his condolences to the miners over the death of their colleagues on August 17 at the neighboring «Kazakhstanskaya» mine and noted that he went down into the lava to openly talk with the miners about their concerns and see with his own eyes the working conditions of the AMT miners.

“According to preliminary data, the accident at the «Kazakhstanskaya» mine occurred due to a fire on a conveyor belt, the same applies at this mine. Today we reached you in the lava along it. It was also important for me to find out how the positioning system installed not so long ago at both mines works and to see the working conditions of miners in the very heart of the lava – at the coal mining site. But, most importantly, I came to talk openly with you about the problems that are relevant to you” said Satybaldy Dauletalin.

The conversation was frank. Machinist Oleg Karezin and his colleagues emphasized issues that should be addressed urgently – lowering the retirement age for miners, understaffing of crews, outdated equipment, and low wages.

After listening to the miners, the Chairman of the FTURK stressed that the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been raising all relevant issues with social partners for a long time.

“Over the past years, we have raised and discussed the issue of reducing the retirement age of workers employed in dangerous and harmful working conditions in the Parliament and the government of the country. The recent statement by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov gives hope that this issue will finally find its positive solution. But the trade unions believe that the issue should be resolved comprehensively, it is necessary to provide further social protection for miners who will retire at 55, to consider the possibility of their further employment or using their experience to transfer skills to young miners. Member organizations of the FTURK – trade unions in the coal industry have repeatedly raised the issue of staff shortage before the employer. This problem remains on the agenda, and we will seek to solve it in the framework of joint work with social partners at the upcoming meetings of the conciliation commissions and the tripartite commission on social partnership. As for the remuneration of miners – I support it! The wages of underground mine workers must be raised unambiguously. The miner’s work is the hardest, the most dangerous, and it should be evaluated accordingly. Today, for the first time, I made this path that you go through every day, going down for 8 hours underground. This is the path of Heroes with a capital letter, and it is customary to honor Heroes and treat their merits with dignity” Satybaldy Dauletalin said.

The Chairman of the FTURK informed the miners that all the issues raised will be discussed at a meeting of the regional tripartite commission on social partnership and regulation of social and labor relations in the Akimat of the Karaganda region.

Four hours later, before climbing “to the mountain”, Satybaldy Dauletalin noted that a special government commission is currently investigating the accident at the «Kazakhstanskaya» mine, then the materials will be transferred to law enforcement agencies.

“We are monitoring the progress of the investigation. The Federation of Trade Unions intends to seek an objective investigation – those responsible for the deaths of miners should be punished as they deserve. The employer is obliged to radically revise the implementation of the safety and labor protection requirements of miners” the Chairman of the FTURK said.

Media Center of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan