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Safety in shipping is a must

Safety in shipping is a must
The European Metal Workers Federation (EMF) called on major Turkish shipping and shipyard owners, who met Tuesday at Mare Forum in Istanbul.

The European Metal Workers Federation (EMF) called on major Turkish shipping and shipyard owners, who met Tuesday at Mare Forum in Istanbul.

The European Metal Workers Federation (EMF) called on major Turkish shipping and shipyard owners, who met Tuesday at a forum in Istanbul, to ensure that profits are not placed ahead of the health and safety of workers, as fatal accidents in the country's shipyards continue. Major Turkish shipping and shipyard owners met at the Mare Forum Istanbul 2009 to debate "The Turkish Expansion".

"Turkey has established itself in the Top 10 of world shipbuilding countries in recent years but this expansion has come at a huge cost to its workforce," the EMF said in a statement released after Tuesday's meeting.

Thirty shipyard workers died since 2008 while the total body count in Istanbul's Tuzla Shipyard has risen to 120 in the past 17 years, the statement said.

"A system of large-scale subcontracting to cope with the massive order intake of recent years (representing around 90% of the shipyards" workforce ? often untrained), unsafe working conditions and a blatant disregard for occupational safety regulations are continuing to put workers lives and their safety in the yards at risk," it added.

The EMF said some shipyards are reducing their health and safety personnel despite these known problems in working conditions as a way to deal with the financial downturn.

"The Turkish shipbuilding expansion must crucially involve basic workers" rights, improved working conditions, training and adequate health and safety provisions for all shipyard workers. Existing regulations must be rigorously enforced," it said.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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