TORONTO, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - U.S. Steelworkers who mine the metal used
in Olympic medals are in solidarity with locked-out Quebec workers.
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 392 wants Rio Tinto "Off the Podium"
for this summer's London 2012 Olympics.
USW Local 392 represents the workers at Rio Tinto subsidiary Kennecott
Utah Copper's operations in Utah where 99 per cent of the metal used to
produce the Olympic medals was mined.
"USW Local 392 members take great pride in the world-class work they
do," says Wayne Holland Jr., the staff representative for USW Local
392, in a letter he sent recently to Larry Probst, Chairman of the
United States Olympic Committee.
"However, we completely reject the way that Rio Tinto is treating
workers in Alma, Quebec. Likewise, we feel it is wrong that Rio Tinto
be allowed to associate itself with the Olympic principle of fair play
and with the London Games' commitment to sustainability while treating
its workers in Alma as it has."
"For five months our workers in Alma have stood strong against Rio
Tinto. Backed by this support from our colleagues in Utah, we are even
more determined to keep up the fight," said Daniel Roy, USW Quebec
On New Year's Eve, 2011, Rio Tinto illegally locked out 780 USW members
in Alma, Quebec. Workers in Alma were thrown out in the cold for
resisting Rio Tinto's attempt to replace retiring unionized workers
with precariously employed subcontractors earning half the wages and no
benefits. Some of the workers who were exposed to beryllium that night
were forcibly removed from their jobs before they could undergo
"As Chairman of the USOC, we urge you to uphold the ethical standards
promoted by the Olympic Games and ensure that this summer's Olympians
can wear their hard won medals with pride by getting Rio Tinto Off the
Podium," writes Holland Jr. in the letter to Probst.
For more info on the Off the Podium campaign and a copy of the letter to
the U.S. Olympic Committee, please see www.offthepodium.org.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Alexandra Eshelman, United Steelworkers firstname.lastname@example.org 416-544-5968
Jocelyn Desjardins, Le Syndicat des Métallos (USW) email@example.com 514-604-6273