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Turkish workers up in arms against jeans sandblasting
Dec '10
Workers employed in the denim sector took part in a demonstration in Ankara in order to oppose the proposed law which would impede their struggle for justice especially for the workers who have become victims of silicosis.

The proposed law will put all the victims of silicosis under the same category as that of the disabled. This will entitle them to earn a monthly wage of only 100 to 300 Turkish Liras which is a great loss for them. The silicosis-affected workers will lose their social security rights for which they have been struggling for the last three years. The proposed law has razed the hopes and aspirations of the workers and has taken away their prevailing rights.

Silicosis is the most widespread lung disease in the world which affects the workers involved in jeans sandblasting as their workplace often lacks proper ventilation or safeguard against such diseases. The disease is non-curable and can also prove lethal. As per the medical information released by Turkey, workers involved in sandblasting can get severe silicosis within the duration of six months to two years.

Majority of the workers involved in sandblasting operations are contractual workers and they do not have any insurance. The demonstrators have demanded that the affected workers should be given the basic right to have access to proper treatment irrespective of whether they have insurance or not.

Further they had also urged that silicosis patients should no longer be compelled to produce documents in order to prove that they had operated as denim sandblasters so that they can avail their rights.

Earlier, the denim workers had also released a manifesto urging to put an end to sandblasting operation in the global denim production at a press conference organized at Istanbul on November 27.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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