MAC: Mines and Communities

KCBC Calls Kennecott Utah Copper Bluff

Published by MAC on 2003-04-09

KCBC Calls Kennecott Utah Copper Bluff: 'We Are Not at All Happy with Your Implemented Offer'

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA), April 9 2003

Members of the Kennecott Coordinated Bargaining Committee (KCBC) continue to challenge the managers of Kennecott Utah Copper Inc. (KUC) and their bosses at Rio Tinto plc/Rio Tinto Ltd. to drop the illegally-implemented company final offer (CFO) and to return to bargaining in good faith to achieve a fair labor agreement at KUC.

In a recent move, the KCBC is circulating a petition (below) among the 1,300 unionized KUC workers that offers a refutation of the company's proposal. If you have not already seen the petition, make sure to contact your CAT organizer so that your voice will be heard.

April 9, 2003

To: Kennecott Utah Copper and Rio Tinto

There appears to be a misunderstanding by the Company concerning the opinion of bargaining unit members regarding the Company's implemented Collective Bargaining Agreement Offer. We are concerned that upper management of the Company is not receiving accurate feedback from our supervisors about how the vast majority of the Bargaining Unit feels about the contents of the Company's implemented Contract Offer.

We are not at all happy with your implemented offer. We do not like the Contracting Out language which gives the Company the right to contract out our jobs at any time and the only obligation of the Company would be to sit down with the union and discuss the effects of the Company's decision to contract out our jobs.

We do not like the Reduction and Restoration of Force language. We do not like the Arbitration language; we do not like the just cause language. We do not like almost every Article included in the implemented proposal.

We demand the Company rescind the implemented offer and go back to the bargaining table and in good faith negotiate a fair and equitable contract.

Apparently, the Company does not understand our union. It appears the Company would like us to just go away but we will never go away. We will fight for job security, fairness and for our dignity for as long as it takes. We are the Steelworkers Union. We are the Machinists Union. We are the Operating Engineers Union. We are Electricians Union. We are the Office Workers Union. We have been here for generations and we are not going anywhere. We will be here to fight for our rights, for justice and dignity and for our job security for as long as it takes and wherever that fight takes us.

As we see it, the best decision the Company could possibly make is to rescind the unilaterally implemented offer and go back to the bargaining table and give us a fair contract that we can live with. We want to make Kennecott even more profitable than it is today because we want to share in those profits. But, we want a fair contract, too.

Rio Tinto Global Network to Kick Off Global Solidarity Days

Begins With April 17 'Sticker Day'

SYDNEY NSW (AUSTRALIA) ­ John Maitland, President of the Rio Tinto Global Network ­ a coalition of trade unions that represents about 60 percent of the Rio Tinto workforce - has announced two weeks of SOLIDARITY actions at Rio Tinto facilities around the world to protest a pattern of anti-worker, anti-union, and anti-community behavior in many countries where Rio Tinto is located.

The SOLIDARITY DAYS will begin with a sticker day on April 17, a visit to the Rio Tinto plc shareholders meeting in London on the same day, and culminate in a number of MAY DAY activities -- including the presentation of petitions outlining grievances at Rio Tinto facilities around the world and a visit to the Rio Tinto Ltd shareholders meeting in Perth, Australia.

Contact Your CAT Team Organizers for Information!

Call to ACTION

Dear Member of the Rio Tinto Global Union Network, I'm writing to urge your participation in upcoming Global Days of Solidarity sponsored by the Rio Tinto Global Network. Stepped-up global solidarity is a necessity in the face of Rio Tinto's ongoing attacks on workers rights. Despite its many public statements to the contrary, Rio Tinto continues to defy international labor standards and national labor laws. Current examples include:

Faced with these threats to the well-being of our members around the world, we are compelled to act. We are organizing international days of action to coincide with Rio Tinto shareholders' meetings on April 17th in London, England and May 1st in Perth, Australia.

We are asking you to show your commitment to global justice for Rio Tinto workers by engaging in the following solidarity activities:

The ICEM and its affiliates have waged significant and effective campaigns to force Rio Tinto to respect workers rights in the past. The time has come for a renewed outburst of international solidarity. Please join in these Global Days of Solidarity and help build our power as we demand justice from Rio Tinto.

In Solidarity,

John Maitland

President, Rio Tinto Global Network

'Justice at Rio Tinto'

WE, the undersigned, members of the Rio Tinto Global Network ­ an international coalition of trade unions that represents about 60 percent of the workforce at Rio Tinto plc/Rio Tinto ltd ­ do hereby demand that Rio Tinto directors, officers and managers begin to live up to their oft-stated public pronouncements to respect international labor standards, national labor laws, and community labor and environmental standards wherever Rio Tinto facilties are located.

FURTHERMORE, we demand that:

1) Rio Tinto managers in Zimbabwe stop violating statutory disciplinary procedures at Renco Mine;
2) Rio Tinto officials in Australia cease their attacks on trade union organizing efforts by using so called "personal contracts" and other brutal tactics such as illegal dismissals;
3) Rio Tinto managers in the United States withdraw their illegally-imposed "company final proposal" at Kennecott Utah Copper and return to the bargaining table in good faith to negotiate a fair and equitable agreement;
4) Rio Tinto directors in Indonesia cease to allow the employment of Indonesian military and police at the Freeport-McMoron mines who have brutally and violently terrorized workers and nearby communites;
5) All Rio Tinto facilities review the major conventions of the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO), and honor those conventions - especially Convention 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise) and Convention 98 (The Right to Organise and Bargain Collectively).

FINALLY, we demand that Rio Tinto Board Chair Robert Wilson and Rio Tinto Chief Executive Officer Leigh Clifford meet with the leadership of the Rio Tinto Global Network at the earliest possible date to negotiate a fair, equitable and enforceable Global Agreement to set labor relations standards and rules that apply to all Rio Tinto properties worldwide.

KCBC: When Attacked, We Fight Back

Peace & Solidarity

c/o USWA,
Ste. 1003, Five Gateway Ctr.,
PA 15222
Tel: 801.972.3433 or 412.562.6968

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