The ACTU has urged Rio Tinto to negotiate new collective agreements with its Western Australian mining employees after they voted to reject the company’s offer of non-union employment agreements.

Rio Tinto announced that the majority of employees at its Hamersley Iron and Dampier Salt mines had voted no in a secret ballot and rejected the company’s offer of a non-union work agreement.

ACTU Secretary Greg Combet said that it was now clear that many workers at Rio Tinto’s WA mining operations did not trust the company after its attempt to unilaterally impose a new agreement.

“Rio Tinto should respect the views of the majority of employees who have rejected the company’s system of unilaterally imposed agreements. Management should listen to all workers and their representatives,” Mr Combet said.

“It is important that Rio Tinto take notice of the majority of its employees. Management should consult with its workers and negotiate in good faith for an agreement supported by the workforce as a whole.

“Rio Tinto should hear the message that imposing solutions unilaterally is not acceptable to most employees. Workers and their representatives deserve a say in important decisions affecting their jobs,” Mr Combet said.