Namibia - Workers at Rio Tinto Uranium Mine denounce company violations of the code of conduct and its return to apartheid

On 14 August workers at Rio Tinto’s Rössing Uranium Mine (represented by Mineworkers Union of Namibia – MUN) organised a demonstration and delivered a petition to management against its authoritarian behaviours. In July 2015, in fact, Rio Tinto installed surveillance equipment in haul trucks without consultation of workers’ representatives in violation of Rio Tinto’s code of conduct “The way we work”. The petition also raised the point on victimisation of workers’ representatives demanding the withdrawal of charges against workers that protested against the installation of surveillance equipment and asking the company to comply with the company code of conduct and to treat workers respectfully.
Rio Tinto behaviours putting at risk workers’ lives and threatening their right to bargain collectively have been pointed out in IndustriAll report Rio Tinto: The way it really works. In 2015 the Company had witnessed worker fatalities in Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Madagascar and South Africa and perpetrated violations of workers’ fundamental rights of freedom of association, a safe workplace, security of person as well as violations of indigenous peoples’ rights (e.g., free, prior and informed consent; religious and cultural freedom; benefits of resource exploitation) in different countries.

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