MUA Joins With USW To Protest Outside Rio Tinto Headquarters

About 50 people have protested outside Rio Tinto headquarters in Brisbane today over the ongoing appalling treatment of the company's unionised workforce in Alma, Quebec.

A total of 780 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) have been locked by Rio Tinto out since December 2011.

USW members Guy Farrell and Marc Marais - who addressed the MUA National Conference in Sydney last week - today joined members of the MUA, AMWU, AWU, CFMEU and the Queensland Council of Unions at the protest in Queen Street.

"Rio Tinto made $14 billion profit last year and the response to the workforce in Alma - who helped provide the productivity which underpins this company's operations - has been to lock them out and seek to replace them with non-union labour," MUA Queensland Branch Secretary Mick Carr said.

"This is another one of the important fights that requires global solidarity. The lockout has become the strategy of choice for so many employers around the globe."

Mr Farrell and Mr Marais are visiting Australia and New Zealand as part of the international initiative to expose the tactics of Rio Tinto in locking out workers in Alma and seeking to introduce contract labour at poverty rates at the cost of the local community who have previously been working on Union negotiated rates of pay and conditions.

Both Guy and Marcus will attend the MUA Brisbane Monthly Meeting tomorrow before attending the AMWU delegates' conference where 100 AMWU delegates will hear them report on the dispute.

A report will be forwarded to the Queensland Council of Unions executive where it is expected consideration will be given to further financial assistance on behalf affiliated unions in the State.