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Media Advisory - Canada to join global Rio Tinto protests

KITIMAT, BC, Oct. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Unifor Local 2301 will protest the treatment of Kitimat workers by Rio Tinto, the mining giant. The action is part of a global "day of defiance" against Rio Tinto happening in more than 20 countries, coinciding with the World Day for Decent Work.

"Rio Tinto is only successful because of the hard work of its employees, but there's trouble brewing in Kitimat," said Rick Belmont, Unifor Local 2301 President. "We're fed up with being disrespected at work."

Unifor represents 1,100 workers at Rio Tinto's Kitimat site, where there are more than 400 outstanding grievances.

WHAT: Rio Tinto employees' rally

WHERE: Centennial Park in downtown Kitimat

WHEN: Tuesday, October 7 at 4:30 p.m. PT

WHO: Speakers include Rick Belmont, Unifor Local 2301 President; Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor BC Area Director; and Richard Pacquin, Unifor National Representative.

The global protests were spurred by safety concerns, including fatalities at an Indonesian worksite connected to Rio Tinto. Belmont says that Rio Tinto's unilateral changes to safety procedures in Kitimat are a major concern for Local 2301.

Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 305,000 members, Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector.