The World Federation of Trade Unions expresses its sadness and indignation for the fatal accident in Bartın Amasra coal mine in Turkey that cost the lives of tens of miners who are sacrificed for the sake of profit.
According to the official information, 41 workers were killed, tens are injured and 11 were hospitalized. This new workplace homicide took place 8 years after the Soma massacre that cost the life of 301 miners in Turkey. It seems that no improvement has been made about the working conditions during the 8 years after Soma massacre.
The coal mine where the workplace homicide happened is not operated by private sector; it’s operated by the state itself. This fact proves that greed for more profits is of more priority than the lives of workers for not only private sector but also public sector in Turkey. Thus; the innocent workers are sacrificed for the sake of more exploitation and profits of Capitalism.
This workplace homicide has absolutely been a foregone incident. It’s stated in a report prepared by Turkish Court of Accounts in 2019 that the explosion risk in the coal mine has increased due to the depth of production of 300 meters. In spite of this fact, no precautions were taken and 41 workers lost their lives due to a firedamp explosion.
As remembered, after the Soma massacre, Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey said “Dying is within the nature of this job.” Erdoğan once again used similar explanations after the occupational massacre in Bartın coal mines which resulted in the death of 41 miners. He said “We are the people who believe in the plan of destiny. As we believe in the plan of destiny, these accidents happened, happen and will happen in the future.” That is, he attributes these kinds of occupational crimes to the “destiny” although these accidents that result in the death of many workers can easily be prevented by taking simple protective measures. In this way, the workplace homicides in Turkey are naturalized and shown as if they are ordinary cases. As a result of this fact, Turkey has been ranked number one country where the most miners are killed in occupational crimes.
One of the most important aspects of this fatal accident is the reality of yellow unionism in Turkey. The yellow unions which are organized in the mines have been a part of these workplace homicides by ignoring the lack of adequate protective measures.
Our thoughts are with the families of the workers who lost their lives trying to earn their livelihood. The WFTU demands the conducting of an independent investigation and the punishment of the responsible ones, full compensation, and immediate implementation of adequate protective measures in all mines and workplaces in Turkey. We express our solidarity with the working class of Turkey that once again mourns its children.