Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.
International unions, led by IndustriALL Global Union, are calling for justice for 42 miners who were killed in October in Turkey’s Amasra district. The deaths were a result of an explosion at the mine and four mine workers are still in the hospital, two in intensive care. IndustriALL Global Union Assistant General Secretary Kemal Özkan (pictured above, third from left) and IndustriAll Europe General Secretary Luc Triangle (second from left) visited the mine and met with local officials, mine employees and family members of the killed miners.
“It is the duty of the trade union movement to commemorate our lost fellow miners and to protect their rights. We came here to show our solidarity and express our readiness to work together to prevent future accidents. We will do our best to ensure that mine workers can work in healthy and safe conditions,” Özkan said.
A fire still rages in the mine and efforts are underway to extinguish it so coal production can restart. Workers and the local community want the mine to reopen and for life to return to normal. A prosecutor is asking for a sentencing between 16 months and 1,062 years for 19 suspects, including the manager of the mine for “causing death and injury to more than one person by conscious negligence.”
“We are here to join the demand for justice. The International and European union movement, public opinion and the families of victims want to know why these 42 miners were killed. We will continue to follow this case closely. Every mine worker has the right to return home healthy and safe,” Triangle said.