10 May 2023

Rio Tinto trials day shift commute, shorter weeks for employees

| Matt Nicholls
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EMPLOYEES at Rio Tinto are the big winners of changes that the mining company says will improve liveability in Weipa.

The mining company said it was preparing to make changes to employee conditions in the coming months.

A nine-day fortnight for the Monday to Friday workers will be the most popular decision.

Rio Tinto Weipa said: “In line with global trends, we will be offering a compressed working week for Monday to Friday employees, giving the option of every second Friday off or, half-day every Friday to suit personal circumstances.”

The company is also trialling a daily commute to Amrun for some day shift employees.

Currently, those working at the site south of Weipa have to bus and ferry to a camp, staying there for the duration of their swing.

Rio Tinto Weipa GM Shona Markham said the company was responding to feedback and would trial the daily commute using a fast ferry for those eligible employees.

“We are trialling a day shift option which allows team members to travel to Amrun in the morning and then be home in Weipa by 5pm to spend the night with their family,” she said.

“We are so excited to be able to offer these flexible lifestyle options.

“We know that our employees value family and recreation time and this will give them more of that,” she said of the trial and the nine-day fortnight.

Aurukun residents will also be able to commute quickly and easily to the Amrun mine site via a community commute program utilising access from the site’s southern gate.

Ms Markham said the program was being run in partnership with locally owned and operated company RESET and provided transportation and ongoing support for Aurukun residents, offering increased employment opportunities.

Those working at Rio Tinto’s Cape Kids child care centre will also benefit through improved conditions for staff as it looks to attract and retain an increased number of qualified educators and increase service capacity.

In an effort to employ local people, a career drop-in centre will be hosted in Weipa this week where residents can learn more about the mining operation and register their interest.

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