Rio Tinto wants strikebreaking against Australian workers

This video says about itself:

Massive train full of iron ore through Millstream National Park, Pilbara, Western Australia, near Karratha.

By Terry Cook:

Australia: Rio Tinto hints at a new round of government-backed strike breaking

16 October 2008

Mining giant Rio Tinto’s iron ore chief executive, Sam Walsh, last week raised the spectre of federal government-backed strikebreaking against train drivers campaigning for a union collective work agreement in the resource-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia (WA).

In the first strike at the company’s iron ore operations in 16 years, the drivers walked off the job for 24 hours on October 11 in support of a pay rise of 4.9 percent. They are also seeking extra payments for drivers displaced by the proposed automation of some trains. The drivers voted for an ongoing campaign of rolling strikes of 4, 12 and 24 hours duration.

The drivers, members of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), were previously covered by non-union individual work contracts, which expired this year. The Rudd government has abolished the previous Coalition government’s workplace agreements but has provided companies with a range of options for imposing individual and collective contracts. Rio Tinto management is pressuring the workers to accept a collective deal on the company’s terms and refused in August to negotiate with the CFMEU.

A protest was held outside Rio Tinto’s Melbourne offices on March 13 to launch a campaign against multinationals investing in Colombia. Rio Tinto has several exploration projects in Colombia and it plans to start mining next year: here.

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto abandoned its controversial deal with the Aluminium Corporation of China involving a $US19.5 billion investment. The outcome is a significant blow to Beijing’s plans to establish a stable supply of minerals: here.

6 thoughts on “Rio Tinto wants strikebreaking against Australian workers

  1. Rio Tinto suspends Peru construction after protest

    Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:18pm EDT

    LIMA (Reuters) – Mining giant Rio Tinto has temporarily suspended construction of a processing plant in northern Peru because of protests, the company’s Andean office said on Monday.

    Australia’s Rio Tinto began building in the coastal region of Chiclayo earlier this year. The company has said the plant, which would test minerals, is key to a pre-feasibility study of its mammoth copper project, La Granja.

    Protesters threatened to invade the miner’s installations if Rio Tinto did not agree to stop work, local media groups reported over the weekend. Activists are worried the project will harm the environment, sap water from local producers and generally, create conflict.

    “Because of recent events and the potential risk to people involved in the project, Rio Tinto has decided to suspend, temporarily, construction at its test plant until conditions allow for project’s safe development,” Rio Tinto said in a statement.

    The company added exploration at its copper project, which is located in Cajamarca and expected to cost some $700 million, was not affected and will continue like normal.

    La Granja is thought to have between 4 billion tons and 8 billion tons of mineral deposits with a copper grade of 0.5 percent.

    After Chile, Peru is the world’s second largest copper producer.

    (Reporting by Teresa Cespedes; Writing by Dana Ford; Editing by Marguerita Choy)


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