Published: 25 May 2022
Miners locked up in Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mining camp are calling to be released after management flagged the draconian measures would continue indefinitely.
FIFO workers living in Roy Hill’s ‘Gateway Village’ have been banned from visiting nearby Port Hedland since last year, but now management have issued a fresh edict announcing the full lock down will continue.
WA has no public health orders enforcing mask wearing and no other mining company has imposed such restriction of movement on their workers, including BHP’s nearby mining camp where workers can travel freely to Port Hedland.
Greg Busson, WA District Secretary of the Mining and Energy Union, says it’s a slap in the face to the workers ensuring Gina Rinehart’s mega profits.
“These workers have bent over backwards to keep the iron ore industry going through COVID and the current boom yet they are just treated appallingly by Gina Rinehart,” he said.
“Roy Hill says they’re doing this to protect the local community, but everyone knows it’s the opposite, they are doing it to protect themselves, and making their workers’ pay the price.
]“These people are tested before they fly up north, they’re tested every few days on site and they get isolated if they are positive.
“This has been going since last year, it’s time to stop, it’s a job not a prison sentence.
“We’ve got members in Newman and Tom Price, they live in the Pilbara, they won’t cop this.
“I’m getting calls from members in deep distress, you can’t live on a mine site for month after month without being able to the local doctor, or shop for personal items like tampons or medication.
“Just like any worker in Australia your time between shifts is your own time, no-one has the right to control your movement.
“I know Port Hedland has a history of detention centres, but this is ridiculous.
“This is out of whack with the rest of the mining industry in WA, it’s not on, literally no other mining company in the WA is doing this – not in the Goldfields, not in the South West, and not in the Pilbara.
“Over the last two years our members have endured testing, isolation, shift changes, PPE, and every single time they have come to the party.
“Many have been stuck on western side of the hard border away from kids and partners, they’ve borne a massive personal and mental cost from COVID and Roy Hill is just tone deaf to that,” said Greg Busson, WA District Secretary of the Mining and Energy Union.