Slack agriculture pushes workers to mines, says Turkish chambers union head
Many miners are former agriculture workers, head of the chamber says. REUTERS photoMany of the fallen miners in the May 13 disaster in the Turkish town of Soma were former agricultural workers or farmers, according to Şemsi Bayraktar, the head of the Turkish Agricultural Chambers Union (TZOB).
In a statement issued after his visit to the disaster zone, Bayraktar said employment in Turkey’s agriculture sector had been falling sharply, adding that farmers and their children should be offered professional training in other fields.
“Millions of people will leave the agriculture sector in the future and will be employed as unqualified workers at mines or in construction. A large number of deaths will be preventable if work safety and health measures are taken at these workplaces,” he said.
Some 9.3 million people used to be employed in the Turkish agriculture sector, though the figure had fallen to 6 million by 2013, Bayraktar added.
The chamber has launched a campaign to give support to the families of the victims of the disaster that claimed 301 lives.