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9 Dec 2015

Union investor briefing alleges Rio Tinto's use of precarious work discourages workers from advocating for trade union rights & puts their safety at risk

An investor briefing prepared by IndustriALL alleges that Rio Tinto's growing use of short-term contracts and precarious terms of employment "denies workers job security and the confidence to advocate for unionization and other rights".  The briefing provides examples of this alleged practice in Namibia, Madagascar, Australia and Canada; it also argues the use of precarious work increases inequality "and has helped lead to the phenomenon of the “working poor.”"

The briefing also raises concerns over Rio Tinto's health & safety record, noting 7 fatalities so far in 2015.

We invited Rio Tinto to respond to the concerns raised.  In its response it says that the information in the briefing "is in most cases inaccurate or out of date".  See the full response below.