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Striking Mine Workers Rally At Arizona Capitol

Striking mine workers rallied at the Arizona Capitol during the Legislature's opening day in hopes of getting legislative action on mine workers’ rights.

Union workers are calling on Gov. Doug Ducey and state legislators to intervene in the ongoing labor strike at Asarco, the Arizona-based mining subsidiary of the giant Mexican conglomerate Grupo Mexico.

Strikers were joined by some legislators at The Capitol to demand higher wages and back-pay, including District 9 Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley, covering parts of Tempe and South Scottsdale and District 10's Domingo DeGrazia, covering parts of Tucson.

For almost four months, nearly 2,000 workers have been on strike. They argue workers have gone 10 years without a pay raise. Miners also say ASARCO's most recent contract offer would freeze worker's pension plans, leave two thirds of hourly workers without a raise, and more than double workers out of pocket employee paid healthcare.

Union members say Asarco is violating federal labor laws and breaking international labor standards. Grupo México is the largest mining corporation in Mexico and the third largest copper producer in the world through ASARCO.

Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.