Miners Lock Themselves in Mine to Protest Privatization Law Draft

Miners in Zonguldak province locked themselves in coal mines to protest an amendment article in the mining law that would pave the way for privatizing the Turkey’s Hard Coal Enterprise. The draft article will be submitted to the General Assembly of the Parliament this week.

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Miners in Zonguldak, a province on Black Sea Region of Turkey whose main economic activity is coal trade, locked themselves in coal mines to protest the amendment Article 58 in the mining law that would pave the way for privatizing the Turkey's Hard Coal Enterprise.

The draft article, as part of an omnibus bill, was approved by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Committee on Planning and Budget last week and is expected to be submitted to General Assembly of the Parliament this week.

No progress was made in the meeting of General Mine Workers Union and the Minister of Labor and Social Security Jülide Sarıeroğlu regarding the amendment article.

Secretary General of the General Mine Workers Union İsa Mutlu, who reported last week that they had been planning an action to prevent the amendment, told bianet, that the miners whose shift began at midnight. have not left the mine after their shift was over at 8 a.m. and that other miners from the 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. shift have joined the protest.

More participation from other mines is expected to the protest, that has started in Armutçu, Üzümler, Amasra and Gelik mines as of today (November 6).

Authority to put licence out to tender

The article that has been submitted as a part of an omnibus bill for approval, and drew criticism especially from the mine workers from Zonguldak and opposition parties, foresees that "Turkey's Hard Coal Enterprise and Turkey's Coal Enterprise are entitled to operate the mines under their responsibility, to have these operated by other parties, to split these and demand new licences as well as to put licences out to tender.

"Miners got organized on their own"

General Mine Workers Union Chair Ahmet Demirci stated that the workers union did not take any decision to stage a protest and that the mine workers got organized themselves and initiated this act of protest.

80 miners from Amasra district of Batın on western Black Sea region of Turkey, have locked themselves to protest the respective article of the omnibus bill and stated that they would continue their protest, until the article that paved the way for coal mine privatizations, was revoked. (PT/DG)

İstanbul - BIA News Desk

06 November 2017, Monday