Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Since January 31 borax miners in Boron California have been locked out by international mining giant Rio Tinto. The struggle has gained worldwide attention, and recently there was a show of solidarity from people in the Los Angeles area. Here's the story from the AFL-CIO blog.

It’s a ‘Hard Land’ for Locked-Out Miners
by Mike Hall, Mar 21, 2010
Several hundred Los Angeles-area union members recently came together to lend support and solidarity to the nearly 600 members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 30 locked out at Rio Tinto’s Borax mine in Boron, Calif. Now, you can get a firsthand look at this union solidarity in action with this slide show set to the word and music of Bruce Springsteen’s “This Hard Land.”
A caravan, organized by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, delivered more than $30,000 in food and other supplies to support the miners fighting the international mining conglomerate’s move to outsource jobs, convert full-time jobs to part-time temporary work, slash retirement benefits and gut grievance protections and other workplace rules.

John Kawakami, the federation’s communication specialist, put together this stirring slide show covering the day’s events—an early morning rally at a Dodger Stadium parking lot; the drive to Boron, 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles; and the delivery of the much-needed supplies to the workers and their families.

The workers were locked out Jan. 31, after they voted down the giveback-packed contract from Rio Tinto. According to the ILWU, Rio Tinto in 2009 made nearly $5 billion in profits, despite a worldwide recession.

The London-based company operates mines on five continents and has a long record of union-busting actions, according to the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM).
For more information, visit Local 30’s website here.

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