Supreme Court won’t review Asarco copper-price bonus case, prompting payments

US Supreme Court has denied review hear Asarco’s appeal of lower court rulings prompted the company to pay some $10 million in copper price bonuses to about 750 current and former workers./ A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star 2011

By David Wichner | Arizona Daily Star  

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied review of rulings requiring Tucson-based copper miner Asarco LLC to pay disputed copper-price bonuses to union workers in Arizona and Texas, clearing the way for payments of more than $10 million to about 750 past and current employees.

Asarco had filed a petition for Supreme Court review in May, asking that the high court overturn two federal district court rulings and an appellate-court decision ordering that the copper-mining company pay the bonuses to workers representing by the United Steelworkers and seven other labor unions.

Asarco has now exhausted all of its appeals and must comply with the arbitrator’s decision, the Steelworkers said.

“Although ASARCO has delayed and postponed paying the millions of dollars it owes for years, we never stopped fighting to ensure justice for these workers and their families,” Steelworkers District 12 Director Bob LaVenture said in a news release. “The company’s constant attempts to undermine our contracts have truly united us in solidarity.”

Asarco officials could not be reached for comment.


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