Workers at Rio Tinto’s Gove bauxite mining operations in Australia are warning that industrial action is imminent after negotiations on a new labor deal have stalled.
Although the labor union did not specify what such industrial actions would be undertaken, what is clear is that the labor force, which the union says has not received a wage increase in three years, is upset with the current arrangement.
The union is also out of patience with Rio Tinto’s negotiations, which they say the Anglo-Australian mining giant has delayed intentionally and without good cause.
United Workers Union organiser Lloyd Pumpa told local media that the union’s demands are relatively few and straightforward.
“All our members in Gove wanted out of this bargaining process was a few clauses tidied up and a reasonable wage increase afforded to them, at a mine which has constantly met or exceeded production targets for years.”
“Workers are completely fed up with the blown-out process,” he lamented.
Pumpa went on to say that the union’s actions against Rio Tinto at the Gove bauxite mine would be “imminent.”
The Gove bauxite mine has supplied Rio Tinto with feedstock for its alumina and aluminium operations for over four decades. In addition to fueling its own refineries, the bauxite harvested at the Gove mine in the Northern Territory also feeds the refinery at Queensland Alumina Limited and the Yarwun alumina refinery in Queensland.
The fully-owned Gove bauxite mine produces about 11.8 million metric tons of bauxite ore each year.