WMW Alliance

AWU and CFMEU join forces

22.07.2013

IndustriALL Global Union affiliates, the Australian Workers Union (AWU) and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), join forces in Australia to launch the Western Mine Workers Alliance.

This newly formed alliance provides a voice for up to 15,000 workers at Rio Tinto’s iron ore mining operations in the Pilbara in the north of Western Australia. For the first time in decades the workers can bargain with the company on an even footing.

On 22 July in Perth 30 years of hostility were swept aside as the AWU and the CFMEU jointly launched the Western Mine Workers Alliance.

AWU National Secretary, Paul Howes and CFMEU Mining General President, Tony Maher, also IndustriALL Executive Committee members, were in Perth for the launch of the Alliance.

It's no secret that our unions have had our differences in the past, a tension that Rio Tinto has been able to exploit,

said Howes

But the days of divide and conquer are well and truly over. We will not allow a wedge to be driven between us,” 

he continued.

For too long, managers at Rio Tinto have been the only avenue of appeal when the workforce has a grievance. This agreement allows members of the new alliance to shake that up. It will boost the power of the people who actually produce our nation’s mineral wealth, the workforce,

said Maher.