The Occupational Health and Safety Council (ISIG) has prepared a monthly report on work-related deaths in Turkey. According to the report, at least 1797 workers have lost their lives in the first 11 months of 2018 in Turkey, while at least 154 workers were killed in work-related accidents in only November.
The report indicates that at least 144 workers in January, at least 128 workers in February, at least 130 workers in March, 189 workers in April, 169 workers in May, 151 workers in June, 201 workers in July, 185 workers in August, 167 workers in September, and 179 workers in October have lost their lives due to occupational ‘accidents’.
Of the 154 workers killed in November 2018, 129 were wage labor and workers in state enterprises, and 25 were self-employed persons (farmers and tradesmen).
13 of the workers who lost their lives in work-related accidents are female workers, while 141 of them are male workers, according to the report.
Four child workers ─ one of them was under 14 years old ─ were killed in these occupational "accidents". At least 66 child workers died in work-related accidents in the first 11 months of 2018 which was declared as ‘‘the Year of Fighting against Child Labor’’ in Turkey by the Turkish government. With these figures, the number of child worker deaths in Turkey has reached a record level in its history.
The report also states that at least 104 refugee/migrant workers were killed in the first 11 months of 2018. This is the highest number of work-related deaths for refugee/migrant workers the researchers have ever seen in a year in Turkey.
Work-related deaths mostly took place in construction, agricultural, transportation, trade/office, mining, health, security, municipal affairs and metal-working lines of business, according to the report.
AKP’S "MEGA PROJECTS": WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR WORKERS?
The report prepared by ISIG also includes an analysis entitled "Mega projects mean the death for workers".
It says, "There are some basic reasons behind the occupational murders in the 'mega' projects. First of all, these projects must start immediately and show themselves to society. It means the construction works intensified in the early stages of the project ─ the first stages of construction works are usually excavation and filling works ─ and the increasing work-related homicides due to this work load density and the imposition on workers to forcibly work to complete the construction as soon as possible."
"The second reason is the obligation to complete these projects within the promised time. Because, here, there is a political and ideological goal and success. These promises and goals must be fulfilled especially by coinciding with particular historically important days. This situation, in particular, brings intensive working conditions and imposition on workers to forcibly work with it in the final stages of the projects,"’ it is stated in the report.
Noting that capitalism cannot grow without these mega projects, the report concluded: "There are stadiums that are not used all over the world, huge highways, bridges, viaducts that are not used by vehicles, airports using only a very small portion of its capacity, shopping centers and all types of facilities. The common feature of all is that they are hostile to nature, society and workers who produce them, using the resources that belong to society…"