As is commonly known, conditions of workers such as miners or laborers are far below acceptable standards. A quick glance at the statistics reveals how enormous and devastating the effect of inadequate working conditions is on the lives of workers. The increasing occupational accidents, in this respect, pose a question as to whether working under bad conditions stems from inspectors’ lack of control or governments’ inability to invest wisely in technology or workers’ inability to unionize.
By and large, not taking the necessary measures for job security is the most common reason among the other possible causes. Our authorities are, unfortunately, incapable of springing to action when it comes to ensuring safe and sanitary conditions for workers. Noticeable examples are not scarce in Turkey of course. In 2014, due to the low safety level, a fire claimed the lives of more than three hundred coalminers. This deplorable condition, on the other hand, points to another significant reason: lack of legal control over corporations. Restraining those careless organizations’ self-control may sound reasonable. In fact, if authorities not only show sufficient will and intelligence but also err on the side of caution, there will be fewer deadly work place accidents.
The burden of responsibility lies in the hands of governments, again, because they are failing to invest in technology sufficiently. Numerous workers have to face up to difficult conditions owing to the technological gap in our country. Providing them with basic amenities may not be a big deal to eliminate this deprivation. In addition, lack of severe punishments for wrongdoers takes a toll on workers. Giving the private sector freedom or displaying indifference to confederates, in this point, costs the government more than money. Last but not the least, ineffective labor unions and an inability to achieve a consensus engender undesirable results. Instead of just accepting the consequences of such negligence, they must assert their sacrosanct rights.
Looking at the broader picture, it would be true to argue that the grave negligence of authorities and workers’ inability to be united are the most convincing reasons for such hideous conditions. Let alone the underprivileged workers, governments should undertake an enterprise and more importantly, regard all work place accidents as a prime concern.
HAVVANUR ZAFER Program 2, May 2015