High Country News
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High Country News

COVID-19 ended Arizona steelworker’s 6-month picket line

After more than a decade without a raise, workers are asking for a better contract.

Community organizers provide tacos and a movie for a community night at the Silver Bell Mine picket line. | Justin Hamel

In October 2019, Arizona steelworkers decided they had had enough. Their employer, the mining corporation Asarco and its parent company, Grupo Mexico, had made a final offer: a contract that would have raised workers’ health-care premiums by two-thirds, reduced their pensions and denied what would have been their first salary increase in more than decade. Arizona’s last unionized copper workers rejected the offer.

“This is a fight for our future and for our families,” said Alex Terrazas, president of United Steelworkers Local 937, in a video produced by the union. “Right now, we’re dealing with this corporate tyrant that is all about greed and doesn’t care about the workers. We’re tired of being disrespected.”

See more of the photos in this essay here:
https://www.hcn.org/articles/covid-19-coronavirus-ended-arizona-steelworkers-6-month-picket-line

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