Australia’s mining tycoon Gina Rinehart — the world’s richest woman — is at it again. This time she has sparked controversy by comparing wages in Australia’s mining industry to cheap labor in Africa where workers earn less than $2 a day.
In a video posted on the Sydney Mining Club’s website, Rinehart called for fewer regulations and taxes to prevent losing mining investment from international firms in favor of cheaper operating costs in Africa.
“Business as usual will not do, not when West African competitors can offer our biggest customers an average capital cost for a ton of iron ore that’s $100 under the price offered by an emerging producer in the Pilbara [Western Australia],” Rinehart said.
“Furthermore, Africans want to work and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future,” she said.
Rinehart’s comments prompted a quick response from Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday, who said it was not the Australian way to give people $2 or “toss them a gold coin” to work for a day, Reuters reported.
"We support proper Australian wages and decent working conditions," Gillard was reported as saying.Page 1 of 2 | Next Page