From Unite the Union: Unite will be holding a demonstration outside the offices of Glencore at 50 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London W1, from 12 noon on Wednesday 10th December at 50 Berkeley Street Mayfair. Can you join us?
Globally Glencore is one of the richest and largest multinationals yet has an appalling record on Human, labour and health and safety rights in the countries it mines in. Our sister union USW have had their workers locked out of a Glencore site in Texas for refusing to accept a substandard contract which would mean taking away the health care benefits of their retired workers. At the demo we will hand in a letter to their offices outlining the abuses that this company has done against workers and communities it mines in. This action will kick start a global campaign against the company led by IndustriALL.
Glencore’s record of abuses includes:
• In the United States, management at Glencore’s Sherwin Alumina plant in Texas has locked out members of the United Steelworkers (USW) since October 11. Glencore is demanding drastic concessions, including stripping retirees of health care benefits and denying a secure retirement to the next generation.
• In South Africa, 800 workers at the Koornfontein mine in Mpumalanga went on strike on October 17 to protest substandard severance payments. Glencore offered one week of service per year in this mine and in other operations it is paying three weeks. Workers in Koornfontein not only have to deal with losing their jobs but also an unfair settlement for the many years they produced coal for Glencore.
• In Peru, workers at Antamina mine, on strike since November 10, are subjected to health and safety violations on a regular basis and are being denied fair payment for bonuses and overtime. Workers are being excluded from the Miners’ Pension Fund and the company routinely violates the collective bargaining agreement.
• In Australia, Glencore has refused to re-hire former employees at the Collinsville mine who are union members and has evicted the former workers and their families from company housing, with devastating impact on the local community.
• In Colombia, a group of former army officers have linked Glencore to a paramilitary group responsible for murdering trade unionists. The paramilitary group trained at a camp located inside a Glencore mine. Glencore has violently evicted farmers from their homes as well as violated national health and safety laws. Glencore has systematically violated human rights, the right of workers to freedom of association and freely negotiate a collective agreement.
• In Peru and Colombia, injuries to workers are commonplace and the company refuses to work with trade unions to address these issues. In the United States, the Sherwin Alumina plant already had an injury rate which was twice the national average and now this facility is being operated by inexperienced replacement workers.