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Copper Miners Strike in Arizona, Texas

October 23, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

TUCSON, Ariz.—More than 1,700 copper-mine workers in southern Arizona and Texas went on strike Oct. 13, after going almost 10 years without a pay increase. The strike involves several unions at eight Asarco LLC mines and smelters whose contract expired in November. “We’ve been in negotiations for over a year now trying to make some sense about this and try to get a fair agreement,” United Steelworkers spokesperson Manny Armenta told KOLD-TV in Tucson. “This is a last resort. We don’t like going on strike, but if we get pushed against the wall, we are going to take action, and we did.” Asarco said it has offered wage increases for skilled workers and job training for others. “Asarco’s last, best, and final offer was anything but a fair and respectable offer,” said Karla Schumann of Teamsters Local 104. These workers have already endured nine years without a pay raise, and to receive a final offer that freezes pension plans, leaves two-thirds of the workers without a raise, and more than doubles their out-of-pocket employee paid health care is not an offer of equity, it is an insult.” Read more

October 23, 2019

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