Unifor, which represents miners in Canada, sends its deepest condolences and support to the families of miners killed and trapped in this week’s mining disaster in Turkey.
The harrowing image of rescuers pulling bodies from the ground and lifting back blankets for desperate families to see the faces is a stark reminder of the need for strong safety laws across the mining industry.
Turkey has a history of mining deaths, but none in 20 years as deadly as Tuesday’s explosion at a coal mine in the western town of Soma – where more than 230 have died and 120 remain trapped.
Every miner and miner’s family knows what those families, and the entire community, are going through. Few mining families have not been touched by tragedy underground.
Protesters have taken to the streets in Ankara and Istanbul demanding strong action by their government to ensure the lessons of this disaster is not lost and mining is made safer in their country. Police have responded with tear gas and water cannons.
Unifor stands with the protesters, and calls on the Turkish government to heed the advice of its people and bring in the strict laws that will prevent such tragedies in the future.
Mining may be dangerous work, but strong health and safety laws backed up by a government committed to protecting workers can prevent that danger from becoming disaster.