NUM wants Rio Tinto off Olympic committee

File image: Reuters

File image: Reuters

Published Jul 16, 2012


The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has urged the South African Olympics Committee to oppose the involvement of mining giant Rio Tinto in the London Olympics over its record on labour rights and what it referred to as environmental vandalism”.

NUM General Secretary Frans Baleni has appealed to South Africa’s representative on the International Olympics Committee‚ Gideon Sam‚ to intervene at the highest levels to ensure the London Olympics are not “tainted by Rio Tinto’s shameful corporate behavior and conduct”.

“Rio Tinto presents itself to the public and investor community as a responsible and ethical mining company that is committed to sustainable development.

“However‚ its track record tells a different story. Rio Tinto has been the subject of criticism and legal action on allegations related to environmental damage‚ human rights abuses and labour violations in countries around the world‚” NUM General Secretary Frans Baleni charged.

Rio Tinto has been linked to serious cases of environmental degradation and contamination in Indonesia‚ Africa and the United States; forcible eviction of citizens and human rights violations in Indonesia and lock-outs of workers in the US and Canada.

Eight hundred metal workers in Quebec‚ Canada have been locked out since the end of last year from a profitable smelter because they refused a plan that put new starters on insecure work arrangements with half the pay.

“We fully support the mineworkers in Alma‚ Quebec and will take necessary action to show our solidarity and commitment to ensuring a resolution is reached immediately‚” said Baleni. - I-Net Bridge

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