Trapped Turkish miners were not paid for three months

Trapped Turkish miners were not paid for three months

Trapped Turkish miners were not paid for three months

AA Photo

The 18 miners who remain trapped underground after a flood in a Central Anatolian coal mine have not been paid for three months, the father of two of the trapped workers has said.

“My sons did not receive their salary for three months,” said Şükrü Haznedar, who has been waiting for his two sons to be rescued from the mine since Oct. 28, adding that they began working again upon the employer’s promise that they would be paid.

Speaking to Labor Minister Faruk Çelik, the workers of the mine in Karaman’s Ermenek district said the had conditions worsened after a recent omnibus bill was approved by the government.

The management stopped providing shuttle buses and lunch for the workers due to increasing costs, the workers said. They added that the miners must spend their lunch break in the mine, as the managers only allow a 15-minute break.

The workers are also not allowed to leave work to use the restroom, so they carry plastic bottles down into the mine with them, according to colleagues of the trapped miners.

Çelik said the responsibility of the coal mine accident in Karaman belonged to everyone. When the ministry intends to shut down a mine, the owners bring in 50 people for negotiations to solve the issue, he said.

“The responsibility belongs to all of us; if life is important then we will shut [the mine] down. But it is the people who have to warn [the ministry] and say ‘danger is coming.’ Employers cut 5 kuruş from the workers, saying ‘we will pay the workers 3 kuruş’ ... The unfortunate situation here is that the regulation has only recently been passed. If only we would come to our senses without suffering any losses,” Çelik said.