The world’s biggest producer of iron ore, Vale, has again distanced itself from an ecological and workplace disaster of its own making, writes Pip Hinman.
It has been revealed that corporate mining giant BHP Billiton used a simple accounting trick to avoid paying iron ore royalties to the Western Australian government for over a decade. Last year, BHP took in a profit of $9.5 in iron ore from WA.
Below is an abridged version of a speech delivered by socialist unionist Robynne Murphy to this year’s ACTU Congress. Murphy spoke alongside three women from the Electrical Trades Union, who had formed the “Sparkettes”, a network to support other women in their union.
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I worked at the steelworks in Port Kembla for 30 years, during which time I was involved in a long campaign with mainly migrant women for the right for women to have secure and well-paid jobs.
About 2500 workers have been on strike since February 9 at the Escondida mine in Chile’s north.
Owned by two Anglo-Australian mining giants, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Escondida is the largest producer of “red gold” in the world. The mine extracts about 900,000 tonnes a year. This represents 20% of copper production in Chile, the country with the largest copper reserves in the world.