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Unions rally at ASARCO for fair contract

Posted at 10:20 PM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-02 00:20:18-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Members from eight different unions - led by United Steelworkers - rallied outside of ASARCO headquarters Tuesday calling for a fair contract from the copper producer.

ASARCO employees about 2,000 hourly employees which are represented by unions, they operate four facilities in Arizona, including a smelter in Texas.

The previous contract between unions and ASARCO expired in 2013, since then they have been negotiating a new one and operated under the same terms as the old.

Steelworkers spokesperson, Manny Armenta, says today ASARCO implemented new terms in what it called a "last, best, and final" offer. Armenta says that included increased health premiums, no wage increases, eliminating retiree healthcare and more.

"We're still in negotiations, we still have plenty of movement to do on the contract and the company just unilaterally wanting to implement that last and best final is against the law," said Manny Armenta.

Unions filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board.  Both sides are expected to be back at the negotiating table on December 14.

The NLRB issued a consolidated complaint against ASARCO alleging they committed unfair labor practices, including failing and refusing to negotiate with unions. An administrative law judge will hear this case with ASARCO on January 12th.