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Protest against Rio Tinto

Close to one hundred employees of Rio Tinto Alcan Iceland LTD, which operates the aluminum smelter in Straumsvík, Southwest Iceland, protested by the smelter’s headquarters at noon today, according to RÚV. This they did to show solidarity to employees of the mining and aluminum giant worldwide.

Similar protests are planned in a number of other countries today, which is a global day of action against Rio Tinto, led by industriALL global union.

The Union of Icelandic Electrical Workers issued a statement saying that Rio Tinto has deliberately worked at reducing the number of permanent employees and aims instead at hiring contractors to work in mines and factories. At the same time, the statement reads, the company systematically reduces the rights of workers, who deserve more job security, better work conditions and decent pay.

The statement describes how workers here have in the past few months discovered how the aluminum giant plans to avoid social responsibility by buying service at the lowest possible price and by not hiring permanent employees, because wages cannot be lowered without breaching wage contracts, which contractors don’t have.

You can read the whole statement here.

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