Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 93 Official Organ of LaborNet 27 April 2001  

 --

 --

 --

.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week


News

Victimised Mineworkers Confront Rio Tinto Board

By Paddy Gorman

Mineworkers victimised by Rio Tinto in Central Queensland and the NSW Hunter Valley, joined hundreds of environmental, indigenous and human rights activists in a lively protest outside Rio Tinto's AGM in Sydney this morning.

A husband and wife team representing the families of 16 CFMEU members found to have been victimised by Rio Tinto at its Blair Athol mine in the Central Queensland coalfields, confronted the company's Board of Directors at the AGM over the traumatic ordeals they have been subjected to for almost three years.

They were joined by coal mineworkers who are victims of Rio Tinto's dirty war against unionists. The CFMEU has been fighting 190 cases of victimisation at Rio's Hunter Valley No.1 mine since October 1998; and 80 cases of victimisation at the company's Mount Thorley mine since December 1999. Rio Tinto used the same system at Hunter Valley and Mount Thorley that it pioneered at Blair Athol to victimise workers.

Rio Tinto claimed it used a 'merit system' to determine the sackings. The 16 claimed they were victimised because of their Union membership and took the matter to the Industrial Commission. For over two-and-a-half years, they fought an Unfair Dismissal case.

On April 9, following the longest ever-Unfair Dismissal case in Australia, the Commission found that the 16 had been placed on a Black List by Rio Tinto, victimised and unfairly dismissed.

Commissioner Hodder described the company's treatment of the 16 victims as a "blood sport". The Commission ordered the reinstatement of all 16 coal mineworkers along with full back pay to July 1998.

It was a stunning win against the world's most powerful private mining company Rio Tinto, particularly given that less than 1% of Unfair Dismissal cases have succeeded in Australia under Howard's Workplace Relations Act. The latest figures on unfair dismissals show that between 31 December1996 and 30 June 2000, only 90 cases out of 26,983 have succeeded in reinstatement.

Throughout their ordeal, the mineworkers and their families continued to live in the company town and were given a hard time. In the two-years-and nine-months spent awaiting their decision, the mineworkers volunteered their time and labour to assist community groups and help maintain and restore community facilities.


------

*    Visit the CFMEU

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 93 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Corporate: The Jobs Myth
Access Economics' Chris Richardson debunks employer claims that increased workers compensation premiums have a dramatic impact on jobs.
*
*  Interview: The Workers’ Voice
When trade union stalwart Ian West took a seat in the NSW Upper House he was determined to be more than a bench-warmer. Then the Workers Comp legislation hit.
*
*  Unions: Postcard from the Pilbara
In the face of unprecedented pressure, BHP workers in the Pilbara are standing together and refusing to sign individual cotnracts.
*
*  Economics: Currency Unification: Dollarize or Die?
Dick Bryan asks what happens to an economy when it gives up its domestic currency.
*
*  History: Instant History
In his address to the Australian Labour History Conference, the SMH's Brad Norington asks whether there is still time for history.
*
*  International: The End of an Era?
The post-Cold War era is over. Something different is developing to take its place. John Passant writes.
*
*  Media: The Battle for Aunty
The CPSU's Graeme Thompson ouitlines the campaign to save the ABC and this week's emergency share-holders' meeting.
*
*  Review: Share-Holder Nation
A legacy of government-backed privatisations, demutualisations and stockmarket hype over the past decade is the creation of a nation of shareholders.
*
*  Satire: SOS: Save the Investment Banker!
Spare a thought for those less fortunate With redundancies at investment banks around the globe looming, now is the time for us to show the world just how much we care. It's just not right.
*

News
»  Budget Day Looms as Compo D-Day
*
»  Give It a Shake, Lads!
*
»  World Spotlight on Asbestos Usage
*
»  Compo Talks Begin in Earnest Monday
*
»  Action Rolls On as Della’s List Fills Up
*
»  Government Ignites Industrial Blaze
*
»  Robbo Elected Unopposed
*
»  Women Casuals Victimised by Abbott
*
»  Scientists Oppose Quantum Leap
*
»  Victimised Mineworkers Confront Rio Tinto Board
*
»  Queenslanders Call for End to Employer Theft
*
»  Inflation Destroys Howard’s Living Wage Ploy
*
»  Commitment to Schizophrenia Research
*
»  Activists Notebook: Workers of the World Unite
*
»  ANZAC Special : Hundred Not Out
*

Columns
»  The Soapbox
*
»  The Locker Room
*
»  Labour Review
*
»  Tool Shed
*

Letters to the editor
»  Compo Shame
*
»  Where the Greens Stand
*

What you can do

Notice Board
- Check out the latest events

Latest Issue

View entire latest issue
- print all of the articles!

Previous Issues

Subject index

Search all issues

Enter keyword(s):
  


Workers Online - 2nd place Labourstart website of the year


BossWatch


Wobbly Radio



[ Home ][ Notice Board ][ Search ][ Previous Issues ][ Latest Issue ]

© 1999-2000 Labor Council of NSW

LaborNET is a resource for the labour movement provided by the Labor Council of NSW

URL: http://workers.labor.net.au/93/news72_rio.html
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

[ Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Credits ]

LaborNET is proudly created, designed and programmed by Social Change Online for the Labor Council of NSW

 *LaborNET*

 Labor Council of NSW

[Workers Online]

[Social Change Online]