Soma miners protest failure to pay their salaries

Soma miners protest failure to pay their salaries

MANİSA – Doğan News Agency
Soma miners protest failure to pay their salaries

Miners workers gathered in front of the governmental office in Soma, June 17. DHA Photo

A group of miners working at three separate mines owned by Soma Holding in the western province of Manisa, have held a sit-in protest, claiming that their salaries have not been paid.

A total of 301 miners died in a tragic accident in a coal mine owned by Soma Holding in town of Soma on May 13. The three mines operated by the Soma Holding in the district have been closed down since the accident. Approximately 6,000 people are employed in these three mines, and a number of these workers staged a protest in front of the governmental office in the district, holding placards and demanding that their salaries be paid.

Both company owners and senior government officials had previously told the miners that their salaries would be paid without interruption after the mine tragedy. However, the miners say they have not been paid their salaries since April.

An official from Soma Holding, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the freeze in all of the company’s assets had caused the delay in payment and said they would pay the salaries by June 20 at the latest.

On June 9, Soma’s 1st Criminal Court of First Instance ordered a freeze on all of Soma Holding’s properties, allowances and assets.

The court also demanded information about the company’s bank accounts and properties. The court also sent the decision of an injunction to the Energy Ministry, the Turkish Coal Institute (TKİ), all banks, police departments and land title offices.

The company’s chairman, Can Gürkan, and general manager, Ramazan Doğru, are still under arrest along with several other officials while the owner, Alp Gürkan, is being investigated on charges of fraud.