About 50 Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members and supporters occupied the foyer of the Brisbane offices of Rio Tinto on March 28.
Rio Tinto has reneged on its agreement with the MUA to have 70–80% Australian crew on its coastal fleet. Instead it is using exploited foreign workers who are paid $3–4 per hour. This is despite posting a $6 billion profit last year.
Queensland branch secretary of the MUA Bob Carnegie said: “No Australian should be locked out of Australian jobs so foreign workers can be exploited and paid below a minimum wage.”
The occupation forced Rio Tinto management to agree to meet the MUA within 10 days to discuss Rio Tinto’s exploitation of foreign workers on its ships.