Plus, many on Cardassia (and on the station) probably thought they would be back next Tuesday anyway, when all this "giving in to the Federation" nonsense was sorted out.
Having one "standardized mining station" located in the middle of empty space and another on low planetary orbit would tell us something about the type of standardization that Cardassians practice - it'd really be a bit like having a floating offshore oil drilling rig applied on Texan or Siberian inland wells as is! But perhaps Empok Nor is the more typical application of this model, and Empok Nor a jury-rigged aberration?
After all, in "Necessary Evil" we saw that the area that would be the elegant and user-friendly Promenade once the Federation took over and also on Empok Nor
was equipped with clumsy chicken-wire-and-death-ray walls for managing the flow of Bajoran laborers. Apparently, the station wasn't really designed for that sort of personnel policy from the get-go...
Yet its refining systems did seem sadistically customized for expendable labor for some reason, as per the descriptions in "Civil Defense". Or did we misunderstand something? Perhaps the workstations there (and on Empok Nor) were quite comfortable and ergonomic for the normally employed Cardassian workers, and Bajorans only suffered there due to their inferior physique?