‘Collapse in thermal power plant caused by negligence after privatisation’: workers

The collapse of a railed coal transfer tube at a thermal power plant in Turkey’s Muğla city had injured 10 and killed 2. Views of experts and statements of the workers at the plant merge, while the Communist Party of Turkey releases a statement on the issue
Friday, 20 July 2018 21:21

After the occupational murders of two workers as a result of the collapse of a railed coal transfer tube at a thermal power plant in the Yatağan district of Turkey’s Muğla city on July 19, it was revealed that the suspicions as to the reasons behind the collapse, which were also pointed out by soL, are probably true. Workers at the plant stated that the tube had collapsed because the company, Bereket Enerji, who had purchased the plant from the Privatisation Administration in 2014, had not performed any maintenance or repair on the tube, and the tube collapsed as a result of the corrosion and metal fatigue that occurred in years.

Politeknik (People’s Architects, Engineers, and Urban Planners) shared their views on their Twitter account, and explained several possible reasons for the collapse. Stating that it was necessary to perform regular inspections and maintenance and repair on the carrying and mechanical systems since corrosion, metal fatigue, and increasing vibration might cause the carrying system to lose its capacity, Politeknik said that the “collapse might also be invited by transferring coal much heavier than the capacity”, and warned: “These sorts of accidents that happen recently, causing losses of multiple lives, show that the maintenance and inspecting mechanism of engineering has been cancelled out. In a system where there is no maintenance and inspecting mechanism based on technical knowledge, this sort of accidents will happen all the time!”

Council of Occupational Health and Safety (İSİG), on the other hand, announced on social media that the first reports from the workers at the site confirm what Politeknik put forward.

However, Ömer Yurtseven, Director of Press and Public Relations at Bereket Enerji, claimed that the maintenance and repair works were done regularly at the plant.

The Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) issued a press release on the collapse, which followed the food poisoning of 2600 workers at a construction site in İzmir city. The TKP said: “We share the pain of the workers and families in Yatağan. But we do not wish anybody patience. Because we are furious.”

Reminding that the workers at the plant had opposed and protested the privatisation in 2014 in hopes of leaving a better future for their children, as well as earning their bread, the statement explained that the workers feel even their own lives threatened, let alone their children’s, only in 4 years after the privatisation.

Underlining that workers, nearly a thousand of whom were killed in occupational murders so far this year, are murdered, poisoned, and injured every day because of the capitalists’ ambition to increase their profits, the TKP also stated that the ruling AKP party is the capitalists’ partner in crime, pointing out that the mining company’s owner was acquitted of his crimes a few weeks ago in the Soma case, where 301 mining workers were killed after the mine collapsed in 2014, and that no one was found liable after 2600 workers were poisoned from the food only recently.

Finally, the TKP said: “After all these crimes, the working class does not need patience but fury, and fury to organise. Otherwise, we will continue to be killed … We will organise to live on. We will change this social order.”