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Ermenek: All mines should be nationalized!

On 28th of October, in Ermenek district of Karaman Province, 18 workers trapped in the mine which is owned by Has Şekerler Mining, because of a flood.

Mines became symbol of subcontracting, precarious & non-unionized work. The employers describe occupational health and safety measures in mines, by telling “If you run away, you will be safe”. How many more lives will be taken by the capital which built a precarious working environment without any sort of moral values or norms?

Delegation of DİSK & KESK  to Ermenek

Delegation of DİSK & KESK to Ermenek


Kani Beko, President of DISK, met miners and ministers in Ermenek

In Turkey, occupational health and safety system has collapsed. Under this collapsed system, Government is making some amendments just for makeup. The government who doesn’t make any real changes has main responsibility in these murders. Occupational health and safety precautions are seen as obstacles against their capital accumulation and they blame workers for not having a “culture of safety”. After massacre in Soma mine, government officials didn’t authorize any investigation against officials of TKI (The General Directorate of Turkish Coal Enterprises) which is the real owner of the mine, but today they blame workers.

The realities in the mining sector are reflected in the inspection reports. According to a report published in 2011 by State Supervisory Council, (DDK) the following findings are listed; No risk evaluations, widespread subcontracting, long working hours, insufficient precautions against risk of mine gasses,  inadequate controls and inrush drilling, irregularities in boring-explosion processes, lack of CO masks for workers, insufficient gas control and warning systems, insufficient ventilation, problems about mine-gas secure electrical devices and equipments, insufficiency in breathing-run away paths, problems about evacuation systems, insufficiencies on internal auditing services in mines, insufficiencies on public inspection

Even those problems were determined; deaths are still going on because the occupational health and safety system has collapsed. In recent years, the occupational murders in construction and mining sectors, once again show us the tragic and brutal face of this collapse.

Subcontracting and precarious work became prominent capital accumulation policy by employers and state. This sort of work destroys any sort of occupational health and safety applications but officials who are ignoring this fact, will be kept responsible for occupational murders which have happened or will happen.

As DISK, we are telling that; with this collapsed system, occupational murders cannot be prevented. Our Confederation is determined to turn occupational health and safety area to its main struggle and organizing area. During the recent talks with Government and ILO’s meeting about mining sectors in Turkey, our confederation expressed what needs to be done in order to stop murder of workers.

The basis of the problem is precarious working conditions like subcontracting and royalty system.  This system of death and exploitation has to be ended in all sectors starting with mines. The occupational health and safety system which was opened to market with Law No: 6331 has collapsed. An independent-democratic institution has to be established with participation of trade unions, professional chambers and universities. Barriers against trade union organizing such as thresholds, prohibitions have to be lifted. Workers can only resist against “work to death” imposition by organizing. The ones who doesn’t hear workers’ demands while running the country, have to be held responsible for their responsibility in these workers’ massacres!

Enough is enough! The subcontracting system has to be ended immediately; all the mines have to be run by public institutions!