Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Mersin Deputy Ertugrul Kurkcu asked for a Parliamentary Inquiry in order to investigate the causes of the recent increase in deaths of workers and take the necessary precautions.
Kürkçü gave the research proposal reminding the report of Occupational Health and Safety Council and mentioned that 62 workers in January, 42 workers in February, 59 workers in March died in industrial accidents.
Kürkçü told that according to the report, 147 workers died at the shipyards due to precarious working conditions. He stated that according to data announced by the Ministery of Labour and Social Security, total number of workers died in industrial accidents was 10.297 in between 2002-2011.
"It's not 'destiny', it's preventable"
Kürkçü underlined the following at his justification:
"There are so many workers' deaths because safe and healthy working conditions are regarded as an "extra cost". Therefore the capital owners prefer "occupational health" rather than "worker's health", in other words, the business efficiency and the occupational health is in the foreground, not the health of the workers."
"Justice and Development Party (AKP) doesn't fulfill the regulations and controls to ensure the safety of the workers; they even eliminate the existing regulations protecting workers and justify this by 'global competition', in other words 'the profitability of the businesses'.The government calls the deaths of workers as "destiny" however all work accidents and occupational diseases are preventable."
"The most important issues are, subcontracting -which is a very common practice in recent years, precarious labor, insufficient job security and non-unionization operations."
"Low wages, long hours of working (up to 13-14 hours), lacking of social security, unhealthy and unsafe working conditions surround more than 10 million workers."
"Of course the protection of the workers' health is the responsibility of the employers; however the regulation and supervision, implementing the penalties and the responsibility to close down a business when required belong to Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Ministry of Labour and Social Security doesn't fulfill its task, moreover it tries to eliminate the unions and professional chambers that are ready to take on any assignment about this issue."
"Growing sectors in Turkey are respectively the construction, mining, energy and service sectors and they have the highest workers' death rate. Injuries are again mostly at construction, textiles, services, food, metals, mining, shipbuilding and energy sectors. At the same time, the industries within the scope of incentives concentrate in these sectors. In order to prevent more workers' death, the rules and regulations should be implemented strictly and the cases regarding the previous workplace murders should be concluded fast and in a way that will not create more victimization.
What had happened in April?
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Council's report, at least 75 workers are dead in April 2012 and it was the highest mortality rate this year.(IC)