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Unions around the world launch campaign against Glencore for violations of workers’ rights

14 September, 2017At a press conference in Bogotá́, Colombia, today, IndustriALL Global Union and its affiliates launched a world-wide campaign against Glencore’s violations of labour rights. 

Swiss mining giant Glencore is systematically violating human rights and health and safety laws, denying its workers their right to freedom of association at locations around the world.

Recently, three workers were dismissed by Glencore in Colombia while on disability leave after contracting illnesses at the workplace.

In addition, the Sintracarbón union, affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union Colombia, reported that in less than one month there had been 13 work accidents at Glencore’s open-cast coal mine, Cerrejón.

The evidence shows that the responsible mining loudly proclaimed by the company is not being put into practice, and that safety standards are not being met,

says Igor Díaz López, Coordinator of the Sintracarbón Safety Committee.

In May 2017, The mining and energy division of the CFMEU, an IndustriALL affiliate in Australia, went on strike protesting against Glencore’s attempts to reduce workers’ pay and worsen other working conditions.

According to Chris Brodsky, District Vice-President of the CFMEU, workers are being punished and intimidated in their community for opposing the company’s plans:

We see that workers and their families are being followed around by security guards in their home town of Tieri, as well as other forms of intimidation.  Our boys are not easily scared, but they are concerned for their families.

Meanwhile, in Canada workers are starting a strike after the company threatened to cut workers’ pensions. Glencore illegally hired strike-breakers and refused to provide the union with information crucial to collective bargaining.

Glen Mpufane, Mining Director of IndustriALL, says:

There are international standards to ensure that multinationals cooperate with unions in times of crisis to minimize the impact on workers.  Unfortunately, Glencore is not following those standards.

IndustriALL Global Union and its affiliates around the world are launching a campaign to defend Glencore workers, demanding that Glencore:

  • Respect their rights
  • Recognize health and safety a as a right for all employees
  • Support negotiations in good faith
  • Favour permanent employment over temporary work