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    Struggle of mine workers of Soma

    Mine workers at the Soma Holding, the firm operating the coal mine in which 301 workers died in Turkey's worst-ever mining disaster continue their struggle against the firm.


    Mine workers at Ata Bacası mine and Işıklar mine, both operated by Soma Holding, refused to work at mines asking for the improvement of safety precautions on the grounds that their mine has problems similar to the one in the May 13 disaster.

    Staging a sit-in protest in front of the Soma district governorate for more than 10 days,  mine workers ended their protest when government officials announced that mines in Soma will not be opened unless necessary safety precautions are taken.

    In another development, hundreds of miners stormed the headquarters of the local branch of the Mine Workers' Union (Maden-İş) in the mining town of Soma on Monday, 26 May  in a bid to force the union administration to step down.

    The miners renounced their membership from Maden-İş, which they accuse of collaborating with the mining company rather than protecting the safety and rights of workers. Tamer Küçükgencay, the head of the Maden İş Union's Aegean region's branch, declared his resignation after the protests.

    Additionally, the miners have demanded better payment and social insurance and the ruling out of the subcontracter system.

    According to official figures, some 34,000 subcontractor firms have employed about 1,700,000 workers in Turkey by 2013. The number of employees was 387,000 in 2003.
     



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