Trade Union leaders from 13 countries of all continents, the leadership of the WFTU, DISK, Nakliyat-Is and the TUI Metal and Mining, meeting today the 18th June 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey during the WFTU-Nakliyat-Is International Solidarity Conference for the massacre in the Soma Mine, declare to the international working class and the people of the world “WE WILL NOT FORGET! WE WILL NOT FORGIVE”.
The solidarity with the coal miners and the working class of Turkey. The death of at least 301 of our brothers is a crime against the international working class. The workers of Turkey are not alone. Their brothers and sisters, workers and militants from all countries around the world who struggle for the same labour, social and democratic rights are on their side.
The condemnation for the Government of Turkey and the Soma Holdings Company for their criminal negligence that put the lives of the mineworkers in danger. This is a clear result of the private use of the mine, the profit-driven exploitation of the mineral wealth, the intensification of labour, the cutbacks in maintenance and modern equipment and the subcontracting of labour. This accident was an expected outcome of the capitalist mode of production. We support the struggle of the militant trade union movement in Turkey against the privatization of the mines and for the mineral wealth to be used for the satisfaction of the people’s needs.
THIS CRIME WILL NOT BE COVERED UP! We condemn and completely reject the comment of the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan and his Government that this was a result of “divine intervention” or “the fate of the mineworkers’ profession”. These tactics aim to disorient the anger and frustration of the Turkish people. The examples he used for his argument from mine accidents of the 19th century prove that the Government of Turkey and the employers want the working class to live in the Middle Age of working conditions and working rights.
We commit to continue the efforts to inform the working class of the world for the real causes, the real culprits and the real solutions in order to transform the anger and frustration for this massacre into an organized, international, class-oriented trade union movement to demand modern, adequate and effective health and safety measures in all workplaces. We demand from the Government of Turkey to implement such measures in all mines of Turkey so that such a tragedy never takes place again. The demand from the Government of Turkey to ratify and implement Convention 176.
We demand the punishment of the culprits, who must be brought to justice. Full compensation must be given to all families of the victims. The threats against the workers of the Soma Coal Mine and the families of the victims must stop.
THIS CRIME MUST NOT BE REPEATED. We will continue the struggle for democracy in the workplaces and demand from the Government of Turkey and riot police to end the repression of the demonstrations, the attack against the protestors, to stop the violation of trade union and democratic rights in the workplaces.
We demand for the end of the system of subcontracting of labour. We demand better labour relations and working conditions for all workers.
We denounce the existence and the action of yellow unions that aim to divide and weaken the working class. The yellow union Maden-Is and its sold-out leadership with high-salaries in the Soma Mines cooperated with the employers and the Government during the supposed inspections, gave wrong information about the number of the workers in shift. Now they try to stop the workers from organizing and responding militantly to this massacre.
We demand from the ILO and the United Nations to become active and force the Government of Turkey to accept the trade union rights, democracy and safety in the workplaces.
For the fulfillment of the above aims, we decide to appoint an International Committee of Experts comprised by scientists, lawyers, international analysts and trade unionists to continue with a permanent status to expose the truth about the Soma Mine Massacre, to promote the struggle for the protection of the lives of the workers, the demands for health and safety measures, to intervene in every direction and in any level.