Baş: The government doesn't protect workers

After the coronavirus was detected in Turkey no effective measures have been taken to protect workers, especially those working in construction. 

Speaking to ANF, TIP President, Erkan Baş, pointed out the ongoing construction works in Istanbul and added that the government will be responsible for possible deaths.

Baş said: "Tomorrow, when these workers get sick in construction and die, who will be responsible for this? Is there any guarantee that this will not happen tomorrow? The virus as it has been confirmed spread very fast. The opposition parties said they will make a 'responsible opposition' but I say rather that they are making a 'harmonious opposition'. This is one of those things that sank Turkey."

Baş said: "The priority of the state should be to ensure the health of the poorest and weakest in the society, the workers. But this government hasn't taken a single step in this regard. They protected the bosses who make money and go on with the fiction presented by capitalism."

Baş said that they do not have any expectations from AKP and added that despite the fact that the Parliament is closed, the mines, workshops and construction are open.

"The AKP clearly gave the workers the message that it doesn't care about them."

Noting that the government deals with so-called measures against coronavirus from two different points of view, Baş said: "The first is 'how can I protect power, how can I get stronger', and the second is big capital, which is one of the basic pillars of power. 'How will I continue making money?' This government has no other agenda. How will millions of people in this country live, what will they give their children to eat and drink, how will they continue their lives? These are not important for the government. Before this epidemic the AKP had already brought Turkey 14 million unemployed. And the unemployment rate is increasing. People will either not go to work and die of starvation, or they will go to work and die from illness. There is no other option."

As to what should be done, Baş said: "We are of the opinion that there is only one way to get out of here. If the state and government do not consider the health of the people, we must strengthen their organization quickly and find a way out of it. From our point of view, there is nothing we can expect from the government, what needs to be done is to organize this network of solidarity by workers, youth, women, and all social segments ignored by the government, and to face this epidemic with solidarity and common struggle."

Stating that the ongoing construction works in Istanbul have directly received the support of AKP, Baş added that the construction bosses are in a hurry to finish by summer with the arrangement and facilitation received by AKP.

Drawing attention to the fact that tens of thousands of construction workers in Istanbul still have to work in these structures, Baş said that AKP will be held responsible for any death.