1500 construction workers stopped working to protest poor conditions

1500 construction workers in the city of Bursa and hundreds in İstanbul have stopped working at hospital constructions to protest poor working conditions and unhealthy food service
Friday, 13 July 2018 20:50

Construction workers at a city hospital in the northwestern province of Bursa stopped working on July 13 to protest labour conditions.

Forced to work under poor and harsh circumstances, 1500 workers gathered and stopped working to stage a protest against the contracting firm, Rönesans Holding, with slogans calling on the administration to resign.

Working for the 355-bed city hospital in Bursa, the striking construction workers are forced to live in small dormitories. They are exposed to unhealthy, inadequate and poor quality food at the construction site.

The workers say that the contractor holding imposes mobbing on them, forcing large crowds to live in tiny dormitories without any air conditioner in the summer heat. 

Due to the lack of shuttle services, the workers are deprived of access to social life and basic needs out of the construction site. The workers also protest dirty toilets and widespread water and electricity cuts in ruined dormitories.

Meanwhile, soL News recently revealed a report by the Turkish Court of Accounts, showing unlawful irregularities of contractor firms in defiance of the public economy. Violating the agreements with regards to the ‘public-private partnership projects’, contractor firms often impose the burden of exchange rate increases on public entities.    

As local and foreign contractors use financial credits with treasury guarantees, the public sector disproportionally assumes the financial loads in favour of capitalist establishments. For instance, if minimum wage increases exceed inflation rates, the city hospital contractors benefit from extra payments in entire services, revealing a true plundering mechanism in defiance of the public sector.    

Huge city hospitals around the country stand as a dreamy project of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government with a further commercialized health care system in Turkey as construction workers are regarded as a cheap labour force in poor working conditions.  

WORKERS DEMAND IMPROVED CONDITIONS NO LATER THAN A WEEK

Hundreds of construction workers also stopped working on July 12 at a training and research hospital in İstanbul’s Kartal district to protest working, nutrition and housing conditions imposed by Turkish construction company, Kalyon.

The workers are forced to work and live in unhealthy conditions in infested bedrooms with unhealthy food services as they are exposed to mobbing at the construction site. Following the work stoppage protest, the workers’ representatives and the contractor authorities have started negotiations to improve the working conditions no later than a week.    

Construction workers held a protest in February at İstanbul’s third airport project site as well, showing the reaction against poor working conditions and non-payments. The giant airport project led to occupational murders as workers were forced to work overtime under unsafe conditions.

The construction site that started to be built in June 2014 became the site of occupational murders whose numbers were tried to be hidden from the public. As the workers stated, according to the sources, it is hard to track down the actual number of murders since there are too many subcontracting firms in the site.

Talking to soL News previously, the airport construction workers said they were forced to live in dirty, overcrowded and infested rooms. They said contractors compelled them to work overtime even during the meal times to finish İstanbul’s new airport project as soon as possible while the airport is expected to be inaugurated in October 2018.