BWI Turkish affiliates AGAC-IS, CIMSE-IS, ORMAN-IS and TARIM ORMAN-IS under the umbrella of YOL-IS marked the International Workers’ Memorial Day by gathering and issuing a statement to condemn the high rate of workers’ deaths especially in BWI industries.
The statement noted that “After a strong union struggle, it has been a decade since an independent OHS law came into force in Turkey. However, OHS measures at the implementation level remains as a very problematic topic as in 2021, 2,170 workers died in Turkey as a result of work accidents. One-fifth of the deaths occurred in the construction industry. It is also noteworthy that children and migrants are among those who lost their lives.
The Turkish Union of Road Construction and Building Workers – YOL-IS organized this year’s commemoration event with the participation of BWI affiliated unions from the woodworking, forestry and building materials industries on April 28, in order to draw the public attention to high level of worker deaths and to demand healthy, safe and decent working conditions for all.
The demands are clear: In order not to cause new occupational murders, a mentality change should be made in OHS, and the understanding of “human and worker safety first” should be adopted. ILO Conventions on health and safety should be brought into national legislation in accordance with their spirit, in order for the OHS laws to be fully implemented and the legal basis for the field to be provided precisely. Obstacles to trade union rights and organizing should be removed. Subcontracting should be abolished. OHS committees established in workplaces should be organized as democratic structures, and those should be given sanction authority. The number of labor inspectors should be increased and workplace inspections should be effective. April 28 should be officially recognized and announced as the day of mourning and remembrance.