Asarco agrees to pay workers millions in disputed copper-price bonuses, union says

Asarco must pay $10 million plus interest to about 750 current and former employees hired after June 2011, at four Arizona locations and one in Texas.
/A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star 2011

By David Wichner | Arizona Daily Star  

Tucson-based copper producer Asarco LLC has agreed to pay union workers some $10 million in disputed copper price bonuses and will make an initial payment Nov. 6, the United Steelworkers union said Thursday.

Asarco had fought payment of the bonuses to about 750 current and former employees hired after mid-2011, since an arbitrator ruled the company must pay them in 2014.

After losing several appeals, Asarco was forced to pay the bonuses when the U.S. Supreme Court in early October decided not to review an appellate decision upholding payment of the bonuses.

“I’m delighted they’re going to pay it — it’s been long overdue and the members deserve it,” said Manny Armenta, subdistrict director for the United Steelworkers.

Asarco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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