29 Aralık 2015 Salı 05:36
Soma agreement: 'Rights offered with a spoon are retaken with a scoop'

A controversial newly signed collective agreement between Soma Mining Inc. as well as Imbat Inc. and Turkey's mining union Maden-iş was revealed, raising claims that all gains of miners were “melted”.

The companies have demanded workers to eat their fill with 3 liras per day, while miners' rights to be provided some cloaks and shoes were revoked. Additionally, half of the 5 tons of coal aid was cut from the collective agreement.

The collective agreement for 2015-2018 season involves more than 10 thousand miners' lives and rights. Meanwhile, Imbat Inc. has been laying workers off in recent days.

A mine disaster in Manisa's Soma district has left 301 miners killed in May 2014, raising debates over work safety and employee health, as well as accusations against unions and mining company employers.

Details of agreement not share with workers

Details of this recent collective agreement has not been announced neither by company officials, nor the union. Also, workers that have demanded the agreement conditions were not informed despite their requests.

Although workers will “lose some of their rights” according to experts, Maden-iş Union's Representative for Aegean Region Recep Satır said he had a “clean conscious” about the contract. Satır defended the agreement, saying the booklets have not been distributed to workers “due to typo errors”.

“The value of these rights that are withdrawn will be reassured to workers through monetary aids” Satır added.

The agreement increases salaries by 6 percent and define the consumer price index increase rate for six months. On the other hand, according to worker's title, base pays will be cleared from the conditions and will be melted in the salary. Thus, the increase in minimum wage for the good of workers will be prevented, urged Republican People's Party (CHP) Group Deputy Chairman Özgür Özel. Also, annual aids of shoes and cloak given once in two years were removed from workers' rights.

The actual working days was laid down as a condition, which will reduce the existing coal aid by 2,5 tons, despite the severe winter conditions in the Soma district.

According to CHP's Özgür Özel, “the union leaves workers barefoot” and “rights offered with a spoon are retaken with a scoop.” The union backs the employee not the workers with even worse agreements than previous ones, Özel slammed.

A former director for mine union Yeraltı Maden İş, Ömer Kamil Kartal, criticized the agreement conditions which caused loss in social rights, as well as 6,000 liras of a worker, and 8,500 liras of a skilled miner, although it seems as the agreement offers rights.

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