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Unison members condemn 'corporate manslaughter' at Soma mine

UNISON members united at their conference yesterday to condemn the “corporate manslaughter” which lost 300 miners in Turkey their lives. 

An explosion at the Soma coal mine in western Turkey on May 13, which killed 301 miners, followed years of protests and complaints about the mine’s safety.

Methane leaked from coal deposits frequently caused fires. The fatal fire occured at the mine’s shift change when 787 workers were underground at the time of the explosion.

Unison executive member Ian Fleming told conference: “It bears the dangers of deregulation and why we must fight against it.

“Respective governments tell us that we must cut red tape so that business can grow but the deaths of the Soma miners shows how dangerous deregulation is.”

The union’s international committee was called on to put pressure on the Turkish government to immediately implement global Labour legislation that protects health and safety in mines.

“When you have a government with its hands in big business you create the perfect storm against workers in the workplace,” added Hartlepool delegate Edwin Jeffries.

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