Anna-Sophie Hobi, YAD 02.05.2018
Yesterday (labour day) a activist meeting concerning the biggest mining company Glencore took place in Zurich, Switzerland. Representatives of mine workers unions in DRC and Colombia as well as civil society with Claude Kabemba (SARW) and Andreas Missbach (Public Eye) presented current issues in and surrounding Glencore mines in DRC, Colombia and Zambia (Mopani Copper Mines).
Key issues were discussed:
– Contractors and mine worker’s rights
– Low salaries
– Little (health) services provided
– Weak unions
– Glencore as well as government hindering people to freely and actively unionise (DRC and Colombia)
– Strong relationship between government/politicians and mining company
– No transparency and accountability
– Profit shifting to tax havens such as Switzerland
– Sweet talk and shiny reports by Glencore, but the reality looks different
Glencore protest at the annual shareholder meeting
Today the annual shareholder meeting took place in Zug, Switzerland. Workers unions from DRC, Colombia, Switzerland, USA, England, South Africa, Canada and Zambia (Mine Workers Union of Zambia) together with activists, NGOs and political parties from Switzerland were protesting against Glencore’s business practices and key issues see above. Around 50 protesters were present; the protest was covered by international media. Glencore communications team (Charles Watenphul and Sarah Antenore) came outside to talk to the protesters. Later the representatives of mine workers unions and other protesters from DRC, Zambia, Colombia were invited to attend the shareholders meeting. Unfortunately I was not allowed inside, but hear they were asking critical questions.