TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that members of eight international unions overwhelmingly ratified a new collective bargaining agreement covering about 2,000 workers at five ASARCO, LLC, copper mining and processing facilities in Arizona and Texas.
USW District 12 Director Bob LaVenture, who chairs negotiations with the Grupo Mexico subsidiary, credited local union leaders and volunteer activists who kept the combined union membership together over the course of the long campaign.
"We fought for a fair contract at ASARCO for more than four years, and our hard work and solidarity have been rewarded," LaVenture said. "We have proven once again that we are strongest when we are united and speak with one voice to demand fairness and equality in our workplaces."
LaVenture also praised USW District 12, Sub-District 2 Director Manny Armenta and professional and technical staff from the union's international headquarters in Pittsburgh for their dedication and support throughout the protracted bargaining process.
"We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our staff attorney, Mariana Padias and to our corporate research and benefits expert, Nick Schafer," LaVenture said. "We also relied heavily on support from the staff of our Strategic Campaigns, Communications, New Media and other departments for the duration of these negotiations."
During the campaign, the USW and other unions at ASARCO participated in a series of international solidarity actions and cross-border trainings with members of Los Mineros, the union that represents workers at Grupo Mexico facilities in Mexico.
Union-represented hourly production and maintenance employees continued to work under the terms and conditions of a labor agreement that originally expired in June 2013 but was extended until the parties terminated it in June 2015. Since then, workers stayed on the job in good faith while negotiations proceeded.
The newly ratified contract will expire on Nov. 30, 2018, a remaining term of approximately 14 months.
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)