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Union accuses Rio Tinto of compromising safety at Gove bauxite operations

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Union accuses Rio Tinto of compromising safety at Gove bauxite operations

The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, or AMWU, accused Rio Tinto of compromising workers' safety at its Gove bauxite operations in Australia's Northern Territory, amid a 35% output ramp-up over the past two years, ABC News reported May 24.

In the report, AMWU Northern Territory organizer Lloyd Pumpa said union members at the operation reported a "steady decline" in safety standards.

"[Workers are] very concerned at the way that senior management has been pressurizing them to cut corners, increase production level targets and meet target levels that they think [are] unacceptable," Pumpa said.

Safety concerns at the site were said to have contributed to the recent resignation of the mine's general manager, Linda Murry, with the miner mum on the reasons behind the swift departure.

The report noted that authorities received only three incident reports at the Gove operation over the past two years — including a collision between a dump truck and a light vehicle, as well as an electric shock while welding — despite workers' claims of compromised safety. No injuries were reported over the period in question.