No more slave labour!

By Aaron Berhane March 6, 2012 Do the shareholders of Nevsun Resources Ltd. know that the company is using slave labour to maximize profits? I bet not...

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By Aaron Berhane
March 6, 2012

Do the shareholders of Nevsun Resources Ltd. know that the company is using slave labour to maximize profits? I bet not. There’s no way the management would share such information with them. If I were to ask the shareholders this question, I am sure they wouldn’t have a clue what I am talking about. Let’s forget the management of Nevsun who is deliberately ignoring this issue. But I can try to educate the shareholders.

Nevsun Resources Ltd. announced that the Bisha Mine in Eritrea, which started in 2008, has reached commercial production. According to the company’s website, the operation produces gold at a rate in excess of 1,000 ounces per day, which is pretty good. The question I want to ask is: “Who are the employees?”

The company employs Eritreans and foreign workers, who came from South Africa and Zimbabwe.

There are about 300 foreign workers who work in a safe environment. They receive good, nutritious food, are well paid ($4000–$10,000 per month) and well insured.

But there about 3,000 Eritrean workers, hired by subcontractors like Segen Construction, which is owned by the Eritrean ruling party. These workers are youth, charged with national service for an indefinite period of time. Their monthly salary is $9 and they are forced to work 16-hour days without proper safety equipment, food or insurance. They are treated like slaves.

No company is allowed to use slave labour to maximize profits. Nevsun is very aware of this, but it has turned a blind eye since the launching of its project. It’s impossible to believe that the company doesn’t know about the situation of the Eritrean workers in its mining project. Enough is enough. It’s time for Nevsun to take action before the shareholders do. No more slave labour!

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