Saturday, September 25, 2021 7:53 pm

Asarco copper strike stretches on with no talks planned

Union workers picket along Arizona Highway 177 outside the entrance to Asarco’s smelter in Hayden, Arizona./ Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

By David Wichner | Arizona Daily Star 

The strike by about 2,000 union employees of Tucson-based copper producer Asarco LLC appears to be stretching into its third week with no immediate end in sight.

No new negotiations have been scheduled since members of the United Steelworkers and seven other unions began picketing Oct. 13 at the Mission Mine near Sahuarita, three other company facilities in Arizona and a copper refinery in Texas.

“We’ve told them we are ready to go any time they are, and we haven’t had any response,” said Manny Armenta, subdistrict director for the United Steelworkers.

Asarco, which is owned by Mexico-based Grupo Mexico, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the strike and the status of its operations, but a spokesman said the company is planning to respond in the near future.

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