Labor Ministry report highlights reasons for Tuzla deaths
According to the report, there are 86 shipyards in Turkey, 46 of which are located in Tuzla. There were 480 subcontractors in the country as of June. Yet, this number varies depending on the number of jobs available. The practice of employing subcontractors for shipbuilding was nonexistent before 2002. The number of people employed by prime contractors and subcontractors is currently 23,680, compared to 5,000 before 2002, while 18,500 people are employed by subcontractors. Labor density is six times greater in shipyards than in other sectors.
In a statement regarding the report, Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Çelik pointed out that the number of shipyards rose sharply after 2002 due to a surge in shipbuilding demand. He noted that although the space allocated to shipbuilding activities did not change, the number of employees has risen to around 30,000. "This rise in production and employment has not been paralleled by a similar increase in measures for occupational health and safety," he said.
Çelik stated that the issue of deaths at shipyards should be tackled by taking numerous factors into consideration and that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had met with the parties involved to discuss the issue.
The release of the report comes one day after three shipyard workers testing out a lifeboat drowned when the hawser connecting the lifeboat to the ship broke off. More than two dozen workers have died so far this year at the Tuzla shipyards.