Brisbane unionists protest Rio Tinto over Olympic Games

May 10, 2012

About 40 unionists protested outside the annual meeting of mining giant Rio Tinto's board meeting on May 10 against the company's involvement in the London Olympic Games. Rio Tinto is manufacturing medals for the games.

At the same time, the mining corporation has staged a lock-out of 800 mine workers at the Alma smelter in Canada. Unions say the lock-out began after the Canadian workers refused contracts that would cut wages of new workers by half.

Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams said the Canadian workers only “wanted a fair go and a decent future for their families”, AAP reported.

AAP said: “Unions have written to Australian Olympic Committee chairperson John Coates requesting an urgent meeting to discuss what they describe as Rio Tinto's undermining of Olympic ideals.”

Battams said at the rally: “We are particularly trying to highlight Rio's attempt to deceive the world into believing that somehow they have similar values as the Olympic movement.”

“They are not a good corporate citizen. They need to be outed as a very bad employer, not just in Alma, Canada, but in their mining operations around the world as well.”

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