The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) is disgusted by the mass death of about 240 mineworkers in Turkey, and with this figure expected to rise if those 140 mineworkers still trapped in the underground remain unaccounted for, we hope that the Turkish government will not give in to business (Capital) and sweep the issue under the carpet but launch and mount a transparent and spirited investigation into the incident and its causes without silly justifications.
If anything, we hope that Turkish authorities will ensure that those responsible for such a tragedy are brought to book and that they will follow South African punitive measures when it comes to incidences of this nature in the mining industry, as negotiated by our sister union in the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), with both mining houses and the state.
Having said the above, we hope that a priority, including on national emergency and whatever process goes with it, will be given to this tragedy and that resources are being deployed in getting those surviving workers out of danger and the bodies of those who perished out of debris.
We call on all workers in South Africa and the world over to observe a moment of silence in the mid-day of Friday (16 May 2014), a month of May Day in which health and safety is as crucial as other working and living conditions affecting the working people of the world. This incident will unfortunately go down in history to be of grave impact than those before it in mining sector and in any workplace.
Meanwhile, we take this opportunity to express our condolences to families, friends and colleagues of those workers who perished in this tragedy and hope that the issue of health and safety in all workplaces, inclusive those in hazardous industries, are attended to and addressed before performance bonuses of managers.
For more information kindly feel free to contact Katishi Masemola, General Secretary, at 082 467 2509
FAWU General Secretary
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions