Boron miners’ fight in London

This video from the USA says about itself:

Labor Struggle in Boron: Union Workers in CA Town Locked Out by Mining Giant Rio Tinto After Stalled Contract Talks.

From the Morning Star daily in Britain:

US miners bring their fight to Britain

Thursday 15 April 2010

by Paul Haste

Californian miners locked out by ruthless British mining company bosses have brought their fight to the London meeting of Rio Tinto’s wealthy shareholders.

Six hundred workers were shut out of the international mining giant’s site in Boron, in the Mojave desert near to Los Angeles, in January after the International Longshore and Warehouse Union members resisted management’s attempt to impose new contracts and outsource the miners’ jobs.

The firm, whose profits soared 33 per cent last year to a colossal £3 billion, then used a notorious union-busting firm to bus in scabs to mine borates, which are a crucial ingredient in chemicals and glass.

ILWU union rep David Irish, leading a lively demonstration at Rio Tinto‘s annual general meeting in the heart of Westminster, explained that the US miners had brought their picket line to London to protest at the British company’s attempt “to starve us into submission.”

“Rio Tinto wants to force us to accept a contract that we fear will destroy jobs and impose insecure and dangerous working conditions,” he declared.

“Now we have been locked out of our jobs and replaced by union-busters, and forced to survive on unemployment insurance and handouts, but we are determined to continue to fight,” Mr Irish asserted.

ILWU vice-president Ray Familathe emphasised that the British company’s attack on the US miners was “not just a problem for the small Boron community in California – such an attack becomes a global threat when a giant corporation such as Rio Tinto gets away with riding roughshod over its employees.”

International Transport Federation leader David Cockroft added that locking out workers was “the lowest reaction” of bosses faced with a union defending its members.

The company locked out the workers on January 31 when management attempt to force a new contract on them to replace one that expired in November.

At the time, the company was offering a 2 per cent pay rise and seeking changes in sick leave and seniority practices. Employees currently earn £11 to £19 an hour.

Jack Heyman, a member of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10, circulated the following statement about the outcome of the recent Boron miners’ strike: here.

1 thought on “Boron miners’ fight in London

  1. Pingback: Rio Tinto’s tainted Olympic medals | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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