Rio has agreed to renegotiate its collective agreements in the Pilbara for the first time in 15 years, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has said.
The miner will negotiate a new agreement to cover the wages and conditions of over 250 workers across its iron ore rail operations in the Pilbara region.
Speaking to MINING DAILY, CFMEU WA Mining and Energy Secretary Garry Wood said “this has been 18 months in the process in getting Rio to the table” and is an acknowledgment by Rio that the industrial landscape in Australia has changed.
The CFMEU “is hopeful that Rio Tinto’s decision to negotiate collectively with its workforce marks the beginning of the new era of co-operation,” Wood said.
He went on to say that in its decision to negotiate Rio Tinto has finally come to terms with the reality that the rights of Australian workers have been restored under the Federal Government’s fairer IR laws.
There “are no negatives in this, its all positive,” he added.
Rio Tinto was unavailable for immediate comment.
The CFMEU will meet with Rio Tinto management in the coming weeks to reach a final agreement.