Over 300 coal miners murdered in Soma, Turkey in drive for profits

On Tuesday the 13th of May an explosion at the Soma coal mine unleashed an inferno that killed an estimated 302 workers. This fire happened at a mine that was privatised in 2005, it had ‘passed’ recent health and safety inspections, and the company, Soma Holding, recently announced that since privatisation, the cost of producing a ton of coal had been reduced from US$140 down to US$24. In addition, most miners are either casual, unregistered workers or barely earn the minimum wage. The Soma mine is a crime scene. These hundreds of workers were murdered on the altar of slashing costs and higher profits. The anger of workers in Turkey was immediately apparent with major demonstrations all over Turkey. Workers’ anger was magnified by Prime Minister Recep Erdogan’s callous attitude to the deaths and one of his aides attack on a miner held down by police. When Erdogan visited Soma, he was forced to shelter in a shop from enraged workers and family members.