Turkish union makes belated Soma statement
A miner came out helped by friends in Manisa on May 13, 2014. AFP PhotoThe Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş) has made a statement on the Soma disaster, 10 days after the deadliest coal mine explosion in Turkey. Türk-İş chairman Ergün Atalay admitted there were flaws in the reactions to the explosion and fire that claimed the lives of 301 workers.
“In the first two days, nobody knew how many people were in the mines. Not the ministry, not us. It is sad,” he told reporters. “If there is anything to be learned from that, we should do it.”
Atalay said he went to the Soma mine for the first time after being elected the head of Türk-İş nine months ago.
“Should I have seen it before? I wish, but it is a thing of the past now,” Atalay said.
The head of Türk-İş also said “whoever is responsible” should be held into account, adding the union should not have been the first to respond, before the boss of the company running the mine and the ministry.
“Everybody will pay the price depending on their responsibility, but first the real culprits should pay,” he said.