IndustriALL Global Union
IndustriALL Global Union has produced a new report: “Unsustainable: The Ugly Truth about Rio Tinto” highlighting the multinational’s global practices. IndustriALL is calling for Rio Tinto to live up to its claim to be a sustainable company including by respecting workers’ rights.
Kemal Özkan, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL says:
Rio Tinto’s blind pursuit of profit at any cost has caused disputes with numerous unions as well as environmental, community and indigenous groups. IndustriALL has launched a campaign working with civil society organizations to defend against Rio Tinto’s abuses. Through demonstrating that Rio Tinto does not operate in a sustainable manner, we aim to force the company to live by its own claims.
The report exposes Rio Tinto’s performance on areas including environmental, economic, social and governance issues which the company claims to be key areas for its sustainable development .
• Rio Tinto took huge losses on its investment in Mozambique, while at the same time forcing people off their land.
• Rio Tinto took huge losses on its Alcan acquisition, while at the same time laying off thousands of workers and provoking a costly labor dispute.
• 40 workers were killed at Rio Tinto fully or partially owned operations in 2013. In the case of a disaster in Indonesia that killed 28 of the workers, a national human rights commission found it could have been avoided.
• Over one-third of the company’s workforce is continually exposed to work noise levels at which hearing loss can be predicted.
• Rio Tinto consistently refuses to seek free, prior and informed consent from communities before mining.
• Rio Tinto says that closure costs of its operations represent a significant financial liability, however they publish little detail on how they calculate those liabilities.
• In a single month last year, Rio Tinto had uranium spills at both of its uranium operations.