DİHA - Dicle News Agency

Work Life

Fire of Soma awakes all around the country

15 May
11:40 2014

NEWS CENTER (DİHA) - Trade unions KESK, DİSK, TMMOB and TTB have announced a one-day strike in protest at the country's worst ever mine disaster which has claimed at least 282 lives.

The one-day general strike of the Condeferation of Public Workers' Unions (KESK), Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Unions (DİSK), Turkey's Architects and Engineers' Chamber Presidency (TMMOB) and Turkish Doctors' Union (TTB) to protect the calamity in Soma began. Thousands of workers worn in black as for mourning in Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir, Diyarbakır, Antep, Çanakkale, Mardin, Mersin, Adana, Hakkari, Van and in lots of other cities and marches are being held.

Hundreds trapped underground

Union officials said the recent privatisation of the mining sector had made working conditions more dangerous. Anger erupted against the government in several cities on Wednesday after the disaster in the western town of Soma on the previous day. An explosion caused the pit to collapse while more than 700 miners were underground. Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said eight more bodies had been recovered overnight into Thursday, taking the toll from 274 to 282. Around 150 miners remain missing.

The head of the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey told journalists that several major groups of unions had agreed to the strike. Arzu Cerkezoglu also called on citizens to wear black and march on the Ministry of Labour. "Those who pursue privatisation... policies, who threaten workers' lives to reduce cost... are the culprits of the Soma massacre and they must be held accountable," said a statement by another group, the Public Workers Unions Confederation.