100 Boron, Calif. Miners Locked Out by Giant UK-Based Rio Tinto Join L.A. Supporters at British Consulate with U.S. Flags
High Desert car caravan converges in L.A. at 11 a.m. Friday
LOS ANGELES, April 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Hundreds of miners and family members “locked-out” at Rio Tinto’s borax mine in the Mojave Desert join hundreds of supporters from across Southern California sporting American flags as they protest Friday against the giant UK mining corporation at the British consulate, 11766 Wilshire Blvd.
“We’re converging at the British consulate because Rio Tinto is an British-based global mining goliath that’s trying to starve our families and community,” says Kevin Martz, who operated heavy equipment at the Boron mine until two and a half months ago when the firm threw him and 600 other miners out of work for refusing to agree to a company ultimatum demanding workers surrender their good-paying full-time jobs for part-time temporary positions with few if any benefits.
Rio Tinto operates the world’s second largest borax mine near the tiny town of Boron in California’s High Desert about 100 northeast of Los Angeles, notes Maria Elena Durazo, head of the L.A.. County Federation of Labor, organizer of the event. The mine is highly profitable with near monopoly influence and only one competitor for the world’s borax supply. Rio Tinto reported net profits of $4.87 billion last year, a 33 percent increase over 2008.
“This is much more than a tea party,” Martz adds. “British companies aren’t welcome when they disrespect American families and communities.” The protest will feature hundreds of American flags, a large picket line and rally, and a heavy dose of U.S. blue-collar music from John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen and other artists.
Miners and their families will seek to meet with consulate officials and ask the British government to urge Rio Tinto to end the company’s immoral lockout of the High Desert families. U.S. government officials are investigating the firm’s lockout that Rio Tinto imposed on Jan. 31.
WHO: One hundred Rio Tinto miners and their families plus hundreds of L.A. labor activists, Teamsters with their big-rig trucks and a biker caravan from the Port of Los Angeles, all displaying U.S. flags.
WHAT: Picketline and rally outside Britain’s L.A. consulate, calling on the British government to help end a cruel lockout of 600 California miners working for the UK-based corporation.
WHEN: Friday, April 16, 2010, 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: British Consulate, 11766 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90025.
VISUALS: A fleet of Teamster big-rig trucks will join a long car caravan of miners and family members from the Mojave Desert, circling the British Consulate on Wilshire Blvd. Hundreds of L.A. labor activists will wave American flags in front of the British Consulate at a giant picketline and rally.
SOURCE Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO