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Rio Tinto Managers Load Ship with Aluminum

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Rio Tinto Managers Load Ship with Aluminum

Aluminum smelter in Straumsvík.

The aluminum smelter in Straumsvík. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

A ship carrying three thousand tons of aluminum from Rio Tinto Alcan in Straumsvík will leave harbor this afternoon, headed for the Netherlands, despite the limited strike meant to prevent all shipping of aluminum from the harbor. Ólafur Teitur Guðnason, spokesperson for Rio Tinto Alcan, says that’s the bulk of the aluminum which the company had planned to ship, RÚV reports.

The labor dispute between workers of Rio Tinto Alcan and company management continues. A labor court had ruled the shipping ban legal, but management stepped into the jobs of the striking workers, making the shipment possible.

Tuesday night, the Reykjavík Sheriff ruled that 15 people in management at the aluminum smelter had the right to participate in loading the ship. The union had argued that only two people in management had that right.

Kolbeinn Gunnarsson, leader of the union Hlíf, says no negotiations have been scheduled between the disputing parties. The state negotiator, he claims, will have to initiate those. No progress was made at a meeting on Monday. According to Kolbeinn, the union is looking into the possibility of seeking the cooperation of unions abroad to prevent the ship from being unloaded.

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