Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 83 Official Organ of LaborNet 09 February 2001  

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News

Billions Spent on Mine Takeovers

By Paddy Gorman

Rio Tinto's Billion dollar takeover of Peabody's five open cut coal mines, brings to $4 Billion the amount of money spent by giant companies in Australian coal mine takeovers since late 1998.

That takeover propels Rio Tinto over BHP as Australia's biggest coal producer.

Rio Tinto, BHP, Anglo American (which paid $1.6 Billion for Shell's Australian coal interests), Billiton and Glencore International now totally dominate Australia's coal industry.

Anglo American, Billiton and Glencore are all fully foreign listed companies.

While Rio Tinto is dual listed in Australia, its main headquarters is in London.

As for BHP, the so-called 'Big Australian', it has embarked on a course to 'Americanise' its practices and operations.

Ironically, this foreign takeover of our coal industry comes as Australia celebrates its centenary of nationhood!

Rio SackingsContinue as Profits Soar

Meanwhile, as Rio Tinto prepares to declare a $2.55 billion profit for the year 2000, more coal mineworkers at its operations in the Hunter Valley are to be sacked.

Rio has announced that 67 more jobs will go when the Lemington mine is merged with the Hunter Valley No.1 and Howick operations.

With its recent $1.1 billion takeover of the five Peabody coal mines, Rio Tinto has become the top coal producer in Australia.

Indeed, last year alone Rio Tinto spent $7 billion in acquiring Australian mining assets. In addition to its $1.1 billion spent on Peabody, Rio has paid $3.5 billion for iron ore and copper producer North; $1.6 billion in buying out the rest of Comalco; and $712 million for its Argyle Diamond partner Ashton Mining.

Rio's continuing grab of Australian mining assets increases the unprecedented foreign domination of our natural resources.


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*   Issue 83 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Dispatch from Davos
ACTU President Shahran Burrow reports back on the trade union movement’s presence at last week’s meeting of the heavyweights of global capital.
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*  Unions: After the Gold Rush
Recent mass sackings at high-profile e-businesses are beginning to expose the flimsiness of the ‘jobs for all’ predictions made on behalf of the sector.
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*  Economics: The Other Davos
While the world’s business leaders met in Davos, a very different gathering was taking place in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Pat Ranald was there.
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*  Politics: While We Were Snoozing
As we lay in our banana chair through summer the political world kept turning with a new man in the White House. Here’s what we missed while we were off the air.
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*  History: Federation Day, 1901
One hundred years after Australia became a nation, Ralph Sawyer relives the original Federation Day through the eyes of Billy Hughes.
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*  International: Burma: The Struggle Continues
As the internatinal community moves to bring Burma to account, APHEDA - Union Aid Abroad is working on the ground.
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*  Review: Inside the Journopolis
In his new book, Rob Johnson brings the infamous Cash for Comment Affair to life.
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*  Satire: Families Demand Longer Work Hours
A new report confirms the long held suspicion that employees who reduce their workload to spend more time with their spouse and children just end up annoying their families even more.
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News
»  Union Busters Target Call Centres
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»  Workers Take Message to World Bank
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»  Korean Worker Bashed for Questioning Wages
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»  Steelworkers Draw The Line
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»  Sartor Thanks Workers for Games by Outsourcing Jobs
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»  Outworkers Still Waiting for Action of Sweatshops
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»  Workers Casualties in Wentworth Fire Sale
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»  Fantastic Win for Furniture Workers
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»  Billions Spent on Mine Takeovers
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»  No Guarantees on Orange Jobs
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»  M5 Project- Worker Pays the Price
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»  Forum: Organising Youth in a Hostile Workplace
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»  Western Sahara Marks 25 Years of Waiting
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»  Action as Australia Considers WTO Ties
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  Cavalier Attitude to Cricketers
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»  Unions and the WEF: How should unions bridge the divide?
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»  Botsman's Ivory Tower
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»  Volunteering a Modest Proposal
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»  Well Done, Workers Online
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