Occupational Murders claim 1736 workers in 2019

The Assembly for Workers’ Health and Workplace Safety organization published their compilation of workplace murders and safety issues for last year on January 11, 2020

Occupational Murders claim 1736 workers in 2019

The Assembly for Workers’ Health and Workplace Safety organization published their compilation of workplace murders and safety issues for last year on January 11, 2020. The report was read in a public press release in front of an opera building in Kadıköy district of Istanbul.

The report is titled, “We will resist to live and to let live” and summarizes the workplace “accidents” that were recorded in the previous year.

The report emphasized that neither the government nor the industry took any steps to prevent the deaths, injuries or occupational illness.  Onur Deniz who read the report said, “The working conditions of the workers are getting worse. These deaths could have been prevented by spending only few pennies. But the bosses are not spending on accident prevention. Of course, their first concern is to make more profits. But the life-and-death issue they have is for the workers not to get organized, to stay silent and not to have any rights to speak-up and not to question the capitalist system.”

The report based its sources on 79% from media and the rest from labor unions, friends and families of the workers, occupational doctors and nurses and workplace safety investigators.

According to the report, in Turkey, the 1736 death represents:

  • 115 women and 1721 men
  • 67 children with 29 under the age of 15
  • 118 deaths in Istanbul, 74 in İzmir, 72 in Antalya, 71 in Kocaeli, 66 in Bursa, and 56 in Ankara
  • 442 worker died in agriculture, 336 in construction, 234 in transportation, 105 in general labor, 104 in office, 70 in metal works, 63 in mining and 50 in energy sectors
  • 392 deaths occurred due to traffic accidents, 285 were crushed, 259 by falling, 202 from heart attack or a stroke.

The report asked what the government or the business owners did about this very high number. “All they repeat are these are accidents, fate, workers’ unsafe practices, lack of training, etc. But we say no to all these. The reason behind all these deaths is the neoliberal system’s cheap labor employment policies and the process to accumulate profits. If the working class works under these conditions, deaths are unavoidable.”

The report further continued to expose that most of the workers killed were not unionized. “To prevent more deaths, unionization is a requirement. The second issue and solution comes from the fact that the workers are being forced to work on tasks they are not trained or qualified. Working forced extra hours where the regular work day is 10-12 hours also contributes. The workers have become very similar to slave labor. The last and most important reason behind the deaths is that the bosses, bureaucrats and the politicians behind this system are never charged or brought to justice. The courts do not prosecute the workplace murders. The responsible are only given monetary fines which are spread to 24 payments. The business owners, bureaucrats and the politicians who allow this to happen should be tried in the courts of the law.”

Sendika.Org News (M.B.)