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Glencore, the commodities giant with no soul

Image: Byline Urban Andersson

  • Image: Byline Urban Andersson
  • IndustriALL Textile, Garment, Leather & Shoe - Frankfurt Conference, May

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November 5th, 2018After surviving a near-death experience in 2015, Glencore stocks are riding high on world markets: the company has just posted its best ever results. One reason is its dominance of supplies of cobalt, an essential mineral used in batteries for smart phones and electric cars. Cobalt prices are soaring, and Glencore controls supply through massive operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

When IndustriALL Global Union visited DRC in February 2018 to meet with local unions at Glencore mines, the company denied access to its operations, and security forces attempted to break up a union meeting in a church and arrest the organizers. What are they hiding?

Last year, the Paradise Papers revealed that Glencore paid huge sums of money to a corrupt fixer to obtain mining interests in DRC. Adding to its reputation for corruption, human rights abuses and environmental degradation, Glencore’s treatment of its workforce – in DRC, and across more than 150 operations in the world - is the scandal that has not received the attention it deserves.

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The company directly employs 83,679 people around the world, with a total of 145,977 including contractors. 

Glen Mpufane, IndustriALL mining director, says:

"For Glencore, workers are a disposable and replaceable resource like any other."

These include miners at Glencore’s Oaky North mine in Australia who were locked out of their workplace for 230 days, workers at CEZinc in Canada having to strike for nine months to prevent a raid on their pensions, the loss of thousands of jobs through casualization in Zambia, a spate of preventable accidents at the Cerrejón mine in Colombia, and brutal labour conditions in DRC.

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These include miners at Glencore’s Oaky North mine in Australia who were locked out of their workplace for 230 days, workers at CEZinc in Canada having to strike for nine months to prevent a raid on their pensions, the loss of thousands of jobs through casualization in Zambia, a spate of preventable accidents at the Cerrejón mine in Colombia, and brutal labour conditions in DRC.

These include miners at Glencore’s Oaky North mine in Australia who were locked out of their workplace for 230 days, workers at CEZinc in Canada having to strike for nine months to prevent a raid on their pensions, the loss of thousands of jobs through casualization in Zambia, a spate of preventable accidents at the Cerrejón mine in Colombia, and brutal labour conditions in DRC.


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These include miners at Glencore’s Oaky North mine in Australia who were locked out of their workplace for 230 days, workers at CEZinc in Canada having to strike for nine months to prevent a raid on their pensions, the loss of thousands of jobs through casualization in Zambia, a spate of preventable accidents at the Cerrejón mine in Colombia, and brutal labour conditions in DRC.


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These include miners at Glencore’s Oaky North mine in Australia who were locked out of their workplace for 230 days, workers at CEZinc in Canada having to strike for nine months to prevent a raid on their pensions, the loss of thousands of jobs through casualization in Zambia, a spate of preventable accidents at the Cerrejón mine in Colombia, and brutal labour conditions in DRC.

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These include miners at Glencore’s Oaky North mine in Australia who were locked out of their workplace for 230 days, workers at CEZinc in Canada having to strike for nine months to prevent a raid on their pensions, the loss of thousands of jobs through casualization in Zambia, a spate of preventable accidents at the Cerrejón mine in Colombia, and brutal labour conditions in DRC.


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These include miners at Glencore’s Oaky North mine in Australia who were locked out of their workplace for 230 days, workers at CEZinc in Canada having to strike for nine months to prevent a raid on their pensions, the loss of thousands of jobs through casualization in Zambia, a spate of preventable accidents at the Cerrejón mine in Colombia, and brutal labour conditions in DRC.

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These include miners at Glencore’s Oaky North mine in Australia who were locked out of their workplace for 230 days, workers at CEZinc in Canada having to strike for nine months to prevent a raid on their pensions, the loss of thousands of jobs through casualization in Zambia, a spate of preventable accidents at the Cerrejón mine in Colombia, and brutal labour conditions in DRC.

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