Hunger-striking miners dismissed from work in Turkey’s north

Hunger-striking miners dismissed from work in Turkey’s north

ZONGULDAK – Doğan News Agency
Hunger-striking miners dismissed from work in Turkey’s north The miners who came to prominence by engaging in a hunger strike in a trustee-appointed mine have been dismissed from work in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak. The 11-day strike began on May 18 after the miners working in the Deka and Balçın mines did not receive their wages for four months.

The miners ended their strike on May 29 after being persuaded by the provincial police chief in Zonguldak’s Kilimli district and after getting paid what the mine company owed them. However, the miners were told that they were collectively dismissed according to the Labor Law’s relevant article on work stoppage action. The workers applied for unemployment salary from the Directorate of Labor and Employment. 

“We didn’t want to leave our jobs. Some of our salaries weren’t paid. There are a lot of miners waiting to get their money,” said the representative of the workers, Cemal Akın, while adding they were still being unjustly treated by the trustee.  

“When we ask them about our compensations and salaries, they tell us to go court. We don’t want to file a complaint immediately. It would be enough for now to receive our wages,” he added. 

Some 282 miners at the facility had not been paid for nearly four months and 85 opted to strike by refusing to leave the mine, to which a trustee was appointed over alleged links to the so-called “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ),” which refers to the followers of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Islamic scholar based in the United States who is accused of plotting a coup against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

A total of 68 miners ended their strike due to deteriorating health conditions during the 11-day strike, while 17 continued throughout.