Legislators, Unions Join Striking Arizona Mine Workers on Picket Line


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Saturday, January 11, 2020


Christian Castro

Communications Director, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

(310) 857-9817, christian@thelafed.org

Legislators, Unions Join Striking Arizona Mine Workers on Picket Line

Legislators and Union Members from Across California and Arizona Gather in Support of Striking ASARCO Workers

(Sahuarita, AZ) On Saturday, January 11, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Rep. Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), California Senator Maria Elena Durazo (SD-24), and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor held a day of solidarity joining hundreds of workers from across Los Angeles and Arizona, delivering supplies and highlighting the fight of striking ASARCO workers in Arizona and Texas while calling on ASARCO to bargain in good faith.

“The consequences of corporate greed are not just numbers in a report,” said Ron Herrera, President, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. “They are felt by mothers and fathers; they reverberate throughout our communities. ASARCO’s reckless abuse of workers ends here. The Los Angeles labor movement proudly stands with the striking mine workers at ASARCO and will continue to support them until they win the dignity and respect that comes with a union contract.”

On October 13, 2019, some 2,000 workers, from five locations, walked off the job in an unfair labor practice strike protesting serious labor law violations by ASARCO and the company’s inability to bargain in good faith.

“Instead of valuing their workers and providing them with living wages and benefits, ASARCO is treating them as expendable,” said Rep. Grijalva. “This is yet another example of industry putting its profits over the people who keep their businesses flowing. I stand in solidarity with workers in the face of corporate abuse and demand that they treat their workers with the dignity they deserve.”

“Striking workers have been on the picket line for months,” said Rep. Gomez. “These are thousands of workers and their families who are going without a paycheck and sacrificing for respect from their employer. Every job and every worker deserves respect and dignity.”

“In Los Angeles, and other parts of the country, there is a direct connection to this fight through family, culture, and history,” said Rep. Durazo. “We will continue to tell their story and take the campaign to California and across the nation. We are in this together.”

Negotiations over a new contract have been stalled since November 2018, when the previous 14-month contract expired. In early October 2019, ASARCO revealed its “last and final offer,” which included an extension to the decade-long pay freeze for a majority of workers, the doubling of healthcare costs to workers, and a freeze on pensions.

“Our fight is not just about the injustice Grupo Mexico has forced upon the miners at ASARCO,” said Karla Schumann, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 104.  “This is an American fight and that of the American worker! Every day our support grows larger, our voices get louder and we grow stronger.”

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada increasing labor and environmental regulations while incentivizing more domestic manufacturing jobs. The agreement is signed and in the process of ratification by Congress. The USMCA is endorsed by the AFL-CIO and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

ASARCO is a subsidiary of corporate giant Grupo Mexico, the third-largest mining company in the United States, also owning mines in Mexico and South America as well as railroads and other industries. ASARCO operates three open-pit copper mines and a smelter in Arizona, and a refinery in Amarillo, Texas.