Rio Tinto faces further strike action

Rio Tinto’s Pilbara Iron Ore train drivers will walk off the job again this Friday, the construction union has said.

Last Saturday’s strike was the first industrial action in the Pilbara for more than 15 years.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) said 90% of Rio Tinto’s main line train drivers did not show up for their shifts.

“From our point of view, last Saturday’s strike was only the commencement of a campaign in an endeavour to put pressure on Rio Tinto to come to the table,” CFMEU mining and energy division’s state secretary Gary wood told Australian Mining.

“After Friday’s stop work action, if there is still no discussions with Rio Tinto, the CFMEU will be forced to ramp up industrial action into next week.”

According to the CFMEU, the train drivers are requesting a pay rise of 4.75% pa.

The employees are also asking that there $20,000 main line allowance be incorporated into their salary.

“As the mining industry moves into the world of automation, train drivers will lose this main line allowance, which will also reduce their income by this amount,” Wood said.

A spokesman for Rio Tinto told Australian Mining that there would be a four hour work stoppage from 10am (WST) on Friday 17 October.

“Rio Tinto, for its part, continues to place faith in its direct relationship with its workers and, up until last Saturday, this policy had resulted in not one hour lost to industrial action in 16 years. It is a shame that record is now spoiled, but the record none-the-less demonstrates the benefit of that direct relationship,” the spokesman said.

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