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Rio Tinto slammed for slipping safety standards at Melbourne AGM

12 May, 2014Rio Tinto is notorious for its union bashing tactics and abuse of precarious workers. Along with a protest outside, Australian unions CFMEU and AWU took the floor at Rio Tinto’s annual general meeting in Melbourne on 8 May, slamming the company’s poor safety standards and unfair practices.

At Rio Tinto’s Melbourne AGM IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), called the mining operator ”the worst industry offender” for their extensive use of precarious workers, leading to a lowering of safety standards.

This was the second protest at a Rio Tinto annual general meeting this year. The first protest took place in London and featured the release of IndustriALL’s report on Rio Tinto’s unsustainable practices.

As was the case at the London AGM, Rio Tinto was confronted by numerous shareholders at its AGM in Melbourne protesting against the company’s violations of workers’ rights, abuse of indigenous peoples, abuse of the environment and overall unsustainable practices.

Rio Tinto has a long practice of using precarious workers in its operations around the world. Workers in precarious jobs have little chance to join a union or to bargain collectively. As companies are driving pay and conditions ever lower, the workforce are often divided inside the plants. Limiting precarious work is a central demand in IndustriALL’s ongoing global campaign against Rio Tinto.