NATIONALS Member for the South West Region Colin Holt MLC is calling on Mark McGowan and WA Labor to back the people of WA instead of the Rio Tinto’s London-based head office, after the company recently announced it would sack 500 workers.
Mr Holt said the WA Labor party continued to oppose The Nationals WA plan to increase a Special Lease Rental paid by miners to $5 per tonne to reflect the modern economic landscape, but had failed to outline its plan for WA’s future.
“Rio Tinto’s recent announcement that it would sack 500 workers before our policy has even been implemented, demonstrates the company’s disregard for WA people and jobs,” Mr Holt said.
“If Rio Tinto was thriving at USD$38/t as CEO Sam Walsh stated, and the latest spot price is $74.57, why wouldn’t the company invest and employ when profitability is clearly very good?
“With Singapore Trading Hubs, Malaysian call centres and Kuala Lumpur HR divisions, Rio Tinto are clearly not working hard enough to protect Western Australian jobs.
“Rio Tinto are sacking people when profitability increases, and are moving to an automated workforce but are then seeking to be governed by a 1964 agreement.
“WA Labor are prepared to defend legacy State Agreements that will see jobs transferred from people to robots.”
Mr Holt said the State Agreements that govern what the people of Western Australia receive for making their natural resource available to big miners, had every right to expect the real value be maintained.
“To maintain the real value the taxpayer and the people of Western Australia get from the iron ore sector we must make decisions such as increasing the Special Lease Rental,” Mr Holt said.
“The real value is not being maintained when jobs are sent offshore and the workforce is automated”
Mr Holt said The Nationals WA were taking on the issues no other party was prepared to.
“The Nationals WA will hold Rio Tinto to account because we are putting WA people and WA jobs first,” Mr Holt said.
For media enquiries please contact Office of Colin Holt MLC on (08) 9724 1181