Socially Responsible Union Busting

The global mining giant Rio Tinto is lobbying the Australian government to amend draft legislation to ensure individual common law agreements with its workers override collectively bargained labor awards and certified agreements. The Australian Financial Review reports this would effectively close "the door on legal strikes." In a submission to the Senate committee reviewing the draconian proposals, Rio Tinto argues that collective workplace agreements are "inconsistent with a culture of working together." This is inconsistent with Rio Tinto's membership in the United Nations' Global Compact, which directs companies to "uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining." However, the UN compact has no compliance or enforcement provisions. Still, the UN claims the compact's ten principles in corporate social responsibility encourage "good practices by participants."