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Five Workers Have Died in Shipyards

Press statement by Musa ÇAM, the General Secretary of DISK, about the occupational murders in shipyard.

“Not to die but to live in shipyards is causal.”


Workers from ports, docks and  shipyards who are deprived of any job security, are facing with several obstacles to organise in trade UNIONs. Only %10 of them are members of trade UNIONs. While 13 workers have died in “so-called occupational accidents” since 2005, the number is 31 since 2000.  İbrahim Levent, Mustafa Baltacı, İbrahim Dursun, Nurdoğan Çelik, Mehmet Yücesoy and Selamettin Erol died in 2006. Now in past 15 days we have lost 5 more brothers; Cabbar Ongun (21.08.2007, Forgen Dockyard), Günay Akarsu (23.08.2007, Selah Dockyard), Cengiz Tatlı (30.08.2007, Umut Ship) Kenan Kara (31.08.2007, Tuzla Tourism Co.) Bekir Özmen (03.09.2007, Desan Shipyard) They are all victims of the occupational murders, not occupational accidents. The list of the workers who were injured or crippled because of insufficent job security is much longer. Some of the workers have no social security so they couldn’t benefit from health service.


Those shipyards in Tuzla, İstanbul, have high offer from abroad because of low costs. For employers low costs means: low salaries for workers, inhuman working conditions, almost no job security or protection, cutting off from social security and severance payR30;


Everybody is concerning about budgets and luxury ships. However, nobody cares these workers who build those ships. They are working in dangerous and precarious conditions. There are almost no protection in shipyard.  Furthermore pressure against trade UNIONs of shipyard workers are unbelievable. Not to die but to live in shipyards is causal. The most tragic part of the issue is that nobody cares about death of a shipyard worker. Employers or legal authorities are doing nothing to stop those deaths.


In shipyards, you have to struggle even for minimum job protection, just like to ask for a hard hat. We will be within this struggle. We will struggle untill all workers are provided with decent job. We will struggle untill the people in charge of these deaths are tried in the court.


We are calling for international solidarity about that issue. We hope you will write letters to Turkish authorities and families of those workers..


We believe that you will demonstrate the most efficient forms of international struggle of workers.