As we type these words, the death toll from the mine explosion in Soma, Manisa, Turkey has reached approximately 300 lives. It has been declared that at least 200 miners have not been reached yet and remain underground. We express our deepest condolences to the mourning families and hope that the injured will recover soon. May the lives we have lost rest in peace.
We say ENOUGH to this profit-driven, exploitative system and its inhumane working conditions. Every month, workers die striving to earn an income to pay their mortgages and debts, and feed their families. In today’s Turkey, an average of 100 to 120 workers die every month on site. Turkey ranks first in Europe and third in the world for fatal work accidents.
We say ENOUGH to the private sector that reduces its costs, and increases its profits at the cost of human lives, and the government that allows the exploitation. It is well known that unregistered workers have been working in Soma mines, and the Ministry of Labor’s inspections have been perfunctory. Despite this, the Ministry has announced brazenly, even before the corpses were brought out from the mines, that the mines were recently inspected. This is an inhumane statement, and a confession of the crime.
We say ENOUGH to the unions that overlook the inhumane working conditions of the miners, and cooperate with the political elite, rather than being the agent of the workers’ struggle.
As People’s Democratic Party (HDP), we call everyone to struggle to put an end to the low-wage, vulnerable, flexible working conditions, primarily subcontracting, and to assure that workers will be able to work in humane conditions without risking death, and that worker deaths will be prevented. We demand that all those who are responsible for the worker deaths stand trial at once.
We call unions, trade associations, non-governmental organizations, citizen initiatives, and all those who hold conscience to show that this situation will no longer be tolerated.
All workers will use their power derived from the production process to eradicate this inhumane regime. We will struggle to hold a mass strike/resistance and protests all across Turkey to mourn, to boycott classes in universities and schools; so that the business owners and all citizens who labor can declare that they will no longer accept these conditions. On 15 May 2014, Thursday, we call our peoples to stand in solidarity with laborers and democratic forces, take to the streets, and show their reactions.
The political responsibility for continuing the worker deaths and the grand massacre at Soma mines, is at the shoulders of the AKP government. We demand those who have shied away from necessary legal regulations for the betterment of working and laboring conditions and from assuring regular and necessary inspections of workplaces, including the Prime Minister and all responsible political and bureaucratic bodies, to resign.
We will not forget the mining massacre of Soma, we will not forget those who are responsible. We will not let anyone forget.
HDP Central Executive Committee
May 14, 2014.