Washington–(ENEWSPF)–June 7, 2012. In a letter sent to the Chairman of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka raised serious concerns about an official supplier of the Olympic Games, Rio Tinto. Trumka notes that Rio Tinto, a metal supplier which operates in the community of Alma in Quebec, Canada, has consistently mistreated its workers and the community of Alma. He goes on to say that the Games are tainted by association with this company. The AFL-CIO is joining the United Steelworkers (USW) in calling for the Olympic Committee to get Rio Tinto “Off the Podium.”
Trumka’s letter details Rio Tinto’s behavior towards its employees and members of USW, including an illegal and ongoing lockout of 780 people.
“The lockout has persisted for almost five months and is just the latest example of Rio Tinto’s long standing problematic behavior. Workers, families and an entire community are being harmed as a result of Rio Tinto’s actions,” said Trumka.
He continues, “Every athlete who competes in the Olympics deserves to be supported by entities that exemplify the best spirit of the Games. Rio Tinto’s treatment of USW members in Alma abundantly proves that it is not such an entity. We urge you, in your capacity as Chairman of the Board of the USOC, to uphold the ethical standards promoted by the Olympic Games, so that this summer’s Olympians can wear their hard-won medals with pride.”
More than 13,000 people have written to the International and Canadian Olympic organizers to support the “Off the Podium” effort.