More than 2,800 Turkish miners were fired in disaster-hit town Soma
MANİSA – Doğan News Agency
The accident in Soma on May 13 claimed 301 lives, making it the deadliest industrial disaster in Turkey’s history. DHA PhotoMore than 2,800 miners have been laid off in the Aegean coal capital of Soma, hit by the deadliest mining accident of Turkey's history.
The Soma Coal Mining Company, which operates the Eynez mine where 301 workers were killed in May, stated that its contract with Turkish Coal Enterprises expired in May 2014 and the contracts of 2,831 miners had been canceled as of Nov. 30.
The number of miners who still work in the same company’s mines in Soma in the Aegean province of Manisa remained at 2,182, according to the statement.
The company said it is struggling to pay the double salaries agreed as compensation after the Soma mining disaster.
“Soma Coal Mining Inc. is not able to pay the salaries of the workers that are not working after paying them double salaries for six months. It is also legally impossible to continue the contract of the laborers of a coal mine that is not operating,” it stated.
The accident in Soma on May 13 claimed 301 lives, making it the deadliest industrial disaster in Turkey’s history.
The miners were informed about the situation via a text message from the Soma Coal Mining Company, Nurettin Akçul, the head of mining labor union Maden-İş, said in a written statement.
“We call for all relevant ministries and corporations to take action about the social disaster following the mining disaster in Soma, as part of their legal and social responsibilities,” Akçul said.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told reporters late on Dec. 1 that the government is following the developments in Soma and will help the unemployed workers
“We are on this issue. We will fix this. The locals of Soma can be relieved, we will not let them be unemployed,” Arınç said after the weekly Cabinet meeting on Dec. 1. However, he also added that the mine owners have the right to fire workers if they cannot make enough revenue, as the government increased miners’ salaries and working conditions with a recent regulation.
Meanwhile, rescue workers removed the body of one miner from a coal mine in the Ermenek district of Karaman province early on Dec. 2. The rescuers are continuing their work to remove the bodies of five miners that remain in the mine.
Eighteen miners had been trapped since an Oct. 28 flooding deep inside a coal mine in the town of Ermenek of Karaman in Central Anatolia.