ISTANBUL – TDN with wire dispatches
Parties in the Tuzla shipyards have voiced their disapproval of the labor minister's suggestion to close down or move the area's shipbuilding facilities as a solution to work-related deaths.
�Nothing will change if the shipyards are moved to any other place without improving [the situation in] Tuzla,� said Cem Dinç, the head of Limter İş trade union, organized among subcontracting workers in Tuzla, speaking to business daily Referans yesterday. It is planned to construct tens of shipyards along the coastline from the southern province of Adana to the Black Sea province of Trabzon, Dinç said. �This would mean spreading the lawlessness in Tuzla everywhere.�
Murat Bayrak, the head of Shipbuilders' Association, or GİSBİR, said the minister was misinformed about the lack of space in Tuzla shipyards. �I do not believe that the minister brings down the agenda of shutting down the shipyards,� he said.
Necip Nalbantoğlu, the head of Dok Gemi İş trade union, which has the authority to bargain in Tuzla shipyards, criticized the idea of closing down the shipyards as well. �This is the first step of deadlock,� said Nalbantoğlu, saying the idea to close shipyards was akin to closing down hospitals because of illnesses or highways because of traffic accidents.
Labor Minister Faruk Çelik said Wednesday that Tuzla should be evacuated. �A targeted number of shipyards should be removed from Tuzla or Tuzla should be closed down,� he had said.
Where is the master plan?
Between 2006 and 2007 the Maritime Undersecretariat prepared a master plan for shipyards in Turkey, disclosing information such as which regions need shipyards or whether Tuzla is responding to the demands, association head Bayrak said. �Why does not the state disclose this plan? Let this plan be public and let us talk about the realities.�
Dinç, on the other hand, highlighted the need to immediately give rights to workers in Tuzla, such as education, social security and trade union organization. A work safety and workers' health commission with a wide base should be established and the commission should have an authority for sanctions, he said.
Meanwhile Nalbantoğlu claimed that in last eight months none of the shipyards in Tuzla have received new orders and that their operations will fall to 50 percent of current capacity within two years if this continued for another eight months.
More than one cause
This week's accident killing three workers and injuring 16 others occurred due to more than one cause, according to a report of Chamber of Ship Engineers about the event, daily Milliyet reported. Both the rails around the deck near the ramp of the lifeboat and the lifeboat's eyebolt were faulty, the report stated. Contrary to claims, the lifeboat was not made in China but in Norway and the davit of the lifeboat was made in Turkey. The boat hit the barriers of the ship because of the faults in barriers and the rings of the eyebolt.