World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey's main opposition leader demanded improved conditions for mining workers on Thursday.
Republican People's Party head Kemal Kilicdaroglu met with the representatives of unions in Ankara to discuss "the fundamental problems of working life."
Kilicdaroglu called for initiatives to bring the country's mining conditions up to international standards.
He said that auditing of mining conditions should be carried out by independent organizations. "Along with this, the government's audit needs to be also effective."
There should also be rescue chambers for those who work underground, Kilicdaroglu added
"And the subcontractor system should immediately to be abolished," Kilicdaroglu said.
The subcontractor system permits the government to lease government-owned land for exploitation by contractors, who subcontract the work to third-party companies.
Some of these subcontractors employ unqualified or low-paid workers, and, as a result, the project risks having poor safety standards.
The leader also said the obstacles hindering unionization should be removed. "The unionization of workers prevents the work accidents," he said.
Kilicdaroglu said that his party will put all these proposals into a bill to be put before parliament.
The proposals came after 18 miners got trapped when a water pipe inside a private lignite mine exploded near the Ermenek town in Karaman province.
There were 34 miners inside the mine. Rescue efforts have been underway around-the-clock since the incident to save the remaining 18 miners.
The incident in the Karaman mine comes just five-and-a-half months after an explosion at a coal mine in Soma, Manisa, western Turkey, caused the worst mine disaster in the country’s history, killing 301 miners.
Last Mod: 06 Kasım 2014, 16:27