National Mourning For Our Non-Existent StateOpinions |Author: Antonia Kotseva | October 2, 2014, Thursday // 18:25| views
October 3 is yet another day of mourning this year – mourning for the mediocrity of state institutions and the transition, democracy and European values that never happened.
Fifteen people were vaporised in a blast at the explosives utilisation plant in the village of Gorni Lom. They worked for sums below the minimum monthly wage. Labour and Social Minister Yordan Hristoskov said that in spite the numerous violations, people had no other means of making a living and this is why authorities did not shut down the plant. Even only for the fact that EU citizens were working a dangerous job in primitive conditions for a miserable salary, would be a serious cause for the interference of the state authorities. The question, however, is whose interests they protect.
The working conditions are without comment – below the minimum, just like the wages. According to the trade unions, the equipment was outdated, the production process was primitive and there were no rules and procedures on work safety. The questions is why the Labour Inspectorate, the prosecution and the trade unions turned a blind eye for so long.
Another trade union leader commented that the military trade unions have been warning that such plants have to be strictly and frequently inspected and to employ highly-qualified people with years of experience. But those people would want salaries much higher than BGN 200 and this does not sit well with the owner.
The owner in question, Valeri Mitkov, a Grand Master of the Masons, professor, engineer. It is unacceptable for a person with such standing to allow such vulgar violation of basic norms and human rights.
The sad statistics shows that in the past 15 years around 2000 employees died at their workplaces, due to lack of concern and neglect.
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