Claim of unofficial worker in mine disaster dismissed by minister

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- The alleged death of a 15-year-old boy, Kemal YIldIz, at the coal mine in Soma has raised doubts that some workers might be unofficially employed in the mine. A middle-aged man, whose name was not given but told DoIan News Agency that he was a relative of YIldIz, said the teenager was working in the mine, a claim which was denied, in a statement on Wednesday, by the Minister of Energy Taner YIldIz.
“We have talked with the [mining] company, the labor union [of which workers in the mine are members] and [officials] of the personnel department [of the company]. There is no miner by that name [working for the mine company],” the minister said.
According to a news report that appeared on the Hurriyet daily’s website, officials of the Labor Union of Mine Workers of Turkey who were with YIldIz at the disaster spot, have confirmed what the minister said. “Workers in this company are organized in a labor union. [A labor union] would not anyway allow a child at that age to work,” officials of the labor union reportedly said.

Nurettin Akul, head of the union of which workers in the disaster-stricken mine are members, also reportedly dismissed the claim saying: “No such thing can ever be possible. I have also talked with [union] representatives [in the company], no such information was confirmed. But we will certainly investigate the issue. If [the claim] is true, there are terrible sanctions [against it].”

Akul who described the claim as “fake,” noted that all the 12,000 miners working for the mine company are organized under the Labor Union of Mine Workers of Turkey.


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