Women are working without any personal protective equipment and clothes in forests.
TARIM ORMAN-IS President Sukru Durmus visited rural women workers working under inhumane conditions in various forest areas in the Mediterranean Region. He expressed his concerns about the dangerous working conditions for rural workers.
Women in the region work in very poor, inhuman, and unsafe conditions. They do not have any personal protective equipment and clothes to ensure their safety and health. These women live in plastic tents in the forest area without any sanitation facilities. They work twelve to thirteen hours a day carying trees and logs in exchange of 40 TRY per day (less than USD 12) and at the same time have a double burden of being responsible for family responsibilities such as caring for their children.
The union celebrated International Women’s Day by listening to the problems of women and discussing the importance of this Day. During the discussions, precarious working conditions for women were addressed and it was concluded that the union should demand urgent action for providing decent working conditions for all.
Sukru Durmus visited Sapadere Canyon, a forest area near Alanya, Turkey. The forest area in Sapadere Canyon faced a fire in 2017. Durmus was able to assess and monitor the latest situation following the fire.
Despite all the warnings made by the union, workers in the field still work without proper safety and health precautions even though the main employer the General Directorate of Forestry, must ensure workers work under conditions adhering to national health and safety standards.
Durmus stated: “Almost all workers in the field are not covered by social security schemes and many are unregistered migrant workers from Afghanistan, Georgia, Iraq and Syria. These workers have no work permits and thus they do not have legal recourse to seek back wages or obtain compensation in case of accidents.”
He continued by citing the responsibilities of the government: “It is unacceptable that the General Directorate of Forestry continues to avoid tendering and signing direct agreements with companies without any binding clause resulting in precarious working conditions in the forestry sector.”
In recent years, Turkey’s forest areas have witnessed an increasing workforce working without any social and legal rights and under inhumane and unsafe conditions. The union has been monitoring the problems faced by rural forest workers and campaigning to ensure decent working conditions.
TARIM ORMAN-IS is the Civil Servants’ Union of Agriculture, Forestry, Husbandry and Environment Sectors.