A victory like the one at Rio Tinto in Alma, Quebec could not have been achieved without the support and solidarity of allies and partners around the world. The USW is sending out a heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to the campaign. Read the text of the thank you letter here:
The six month lockout of our members by mining giant Rio Tinto inAlma, Québec is over. In a decisive win, members of USW Local 9490 ratified an agreement by a wide margin that strictly limits the company’s ability to contract out work at the facility. Rio Tinto was forced to retract its demand that future workers be non-union subcontractors earning half the wages of union members and few benefits.
Our members are proud of their fight and are walking back in the plant with their heads held high knowing that their refusal to accept Rio Tinto’s brutal demands and their unshakable solidarity was the foundation of this victory.
But our fight and victory is not ours alone. Rio Tinto’s contracting-out demands and our members selflessly standing up for their community and younger workers resonated all over the world. Time and time again, we heard of similar stories coming from Rio Tinto facilities in North America, Europe,AustraliaandAfrica. The struggle inAlmabecame a global fight against de-unionization in the resource sector. And so their victory is all of labour’s victory and should inspire all of us.
This success could not have been achieved without the support of workers and their unions all over the world, and we are writing to thank all the unions for your support which came in many forms – donations, messages of solidarity, hosting us in our global tour, and attending the rally of 8,000 persons inAlma.
The Off the Podium campaign exposed the hypocrisy of Rio Tinto’s Olympic involvement and pressure mounted through an outpouring of support: 13,000 citizens and 60 national unions from over 30 countries wrote to their Olympic committees to protest Rio Tinto’s involvement. Australian unions and Unite in theUKwere particularly active in demonstrating at Rio Tinto’s annual general meetings and in protesting the company’s participation in the London Games
The USW is fully committed to continuing the struggle against Rio Tinto under the leadership of IndustriALL and the CFMEU of Australia which is coordinating the building of a stronger global network of trade unions at Rio Tinto. We believe that all of us working together have sent an unmistakeable message not only to Rio Tinto but to all of the multinational companies that we will fight globally and can win.
Daniel Roy, District 5 Director
Marc Maltais, President, Local 9490
Ken Neumann, National Director for Canada
Leo W. Gerard, International President