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Asarco to Resume Talks With Strikers, Pay Withheld Bonuses

November 9, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

TUCSON, Ariz.—The Asarco copper company has agreed to resume bargaining with the eight unions representing about 2,000 workers on strike since Oct. 13, the United Steelworkers said Oct. 30. The next talks are scheduled for Nov. 14. Workers at the company’s mines and smelters in Arizona and Texas, who have not gotten a raise since 2009, walked out after rejecting Asarco’s “last, best and final” offer. The unions said that the proposal would have denied almost two-thirds of the workers a raise and more than doubled what they pay for health care. “We do not expect that Asarco will propose anything radically different from the offer its employees overwhelmingly rejected two weeks ago,” Steelworkers District 12 Director Robert LaVenture said. “We do expect the employer to honor its obligation under federal law to negotiate in good faith with us, and we are willing to stay at the table as long as it takes.” Meanwhile, the Steelworkers said Oct. 31, Asarco has agreed to follow a court order to pay about $10 million in bonuses to about 750 workers denied them because a clause was omitted from their 2011 contract. The first payments are scheduled for Nov. 6. Read more

November 9, 2019

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